AMERSFOORT, The Netherlands, March 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Oikocredit has concluded another year of solid return for its investors and partners, demonstrating its strength in a diverse portfolio.
2011 proved a positive year for Oikocredit - one of the world's largest private microfinance financiers. There was an 8% increase in money in the field, as Oikocredit's development finance portfolio reached EUR 520 million - up from EUR 481 million in 2010. Through 896 partners, Oikocredit financing gave over 26 million people access to fair finance, economic opportunity and community development.
Investors demonstrated their commitment to development finance by providing Oikocredit with a net capital inflow of EUR 40 million. In total 2,000 new investors joined, bringing the number of investors worldwide to 45,000. Investors will share in Oikocredit's final 2011 result of EUR 15.9 million, with EUR 9.7 million (2% on member capital) to be proposed as dividend.
Despite challenges in microfinance in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, Oikocredit's total portfolio remained strong because of its diverse investments in agriculture, trade and microfinance in almost 70 countries.
Client welfare a top priority
Oikocredit aims to achieve positive social change in the lives of poor entrepreneurs and client welfare remains a priority. Throughout 2011, Oikocredit also supported over 100 capacity building interventions to enable partners to improve operations and enhance their social mission. Building on the success of last year's activities, Oikocredit will allocate almost EUR 500,000 from its net income for 2011 to reinforce capacity building support to partners.
Growth in Africa
The past year saw Oikocredit gain more ground as an investor in Africa. Oikocredit's African portfolio remains well above the industry average for social investors of 5% (Symbiotics 2011 MIV Survey Report) with 15% of our portfolio - EUR 75 million - invested in 17 African countries. Oikocredit forged 50 partnerships with African organizations last year, and staffed offices in Nigeria and Mozambique. Operations started in Rwanda, and throughout 2012, Oikocredit plans to undertake market surveys in Cameroon, Madagascar and Malawi.
In the coming year, Oikocredit will continue to work closely with its partners to deliver positive social change and access to financial products and services. Next to a further expansion in Africa, Oikocredit aims to increase its equity portfolio and financing of agricultural projects.
Oikocredit is a cooperative financial institution that offers loans or investment capital to MFIs, cooperatives, fair trade organizations and small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the developing world. Oikocredit offers a dual return to its investors: financial and social. In addition to earning modest financial returns, investors are secure in the knowledge that their money is being used to fight poverty, promote fair trade and respect our planet's natural resources.
For further information:
Press contact Oikocredit International: Kawien Ziedses des Plantes, firstname.lastname@example.org, +3106-272-549-04. ; Press contact Oikocredit USA: Terry Provance, email@example.com, +1-202-728-41-40 ; Press contact Oikocredit UK & Ireland: Patrick Hynes, firstname.lastname@example.org, +44(0)1995-602806