Major victories for micro-finance, by John Authers

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Compartamos (“Let’s share” in Spanish) started life as a non-governmental organisation, and gained its seed capital from multilateral funds. In 2000, it converted into a limited-objective financial organisation (“sofol” for its initials in Spanish). That allows it to offer loans, although it is still blocked.but still blocks it from taking in deposit
Now with more than 300,000 clients, its next plan is to convert itself into a bank, so that it can take in savings and also start to offer life insurance. Its portfolio grew by 58 per cent last year, and Carlos Danel and Carlos Labarthe, its joint chief executives, intend to keep that growth going. By 2008, they aim to have 1m clients.
As with micro-financiers elsewhere in the world, their credit quality is excellent, with only 0.56 per cent of loans even 30 days late. Armed with statistics such as that, and with a partial credit guarantee from the International Finance Corporation, it was last year able to raise the first tranche of a $45m (?24.5m) bond on the local capital markets, from Mexican institutional?investors.
Story found here.

Source: Financial Times