MicroPlace Adds India to Roster of Microfinance Investment Opportunities

Friday, December 14, 2007

MicroPlace (www.MicroPlace.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of eBay Inc., today announced that it now offers investment opportunities in India through Oikocredit, the world’s largest private financier of the microfinance sector. For the first time, everyday people can make investments in India’s working poor by leveraging the power of microfinance, and earn a return on their investment.

“In India, there are more than 300 million poor people who work hard every day to make ends meet. With small loans, they can lift themselves from poverty with dignity,” said MicroPlace Founder Tracey Turner. “Oikocredit is a highly respected global microfinance organization, and we are thrilled to offer an India investment from such a trusted industry leader.”

According to the World Bank, nearly 30 percent of people in India live below the national poverty line. In addition, 70 percent of the rural poor do not have a bank account and 87 percent have no access to credit from a formal source.

With the addition of BISWA (Bharat Integrated Social Welfare Agency), an Indian microfinance institution, Oikocredit adds to its ever-growing list of investments on MicroPlace. Considered an innovative pioneer in the field of microfinance, Oikocredit (www.oikocredit.org) has taken a leading role in expanding the range of investment opportunities on MicroPlace. A global cooperative financial institution, Oikocredit offers loans, capital and technical support to more than 600 microfinance institutions, cooperatives and small and medium sized enterprises in developing countries around the world.

“Because of the capital we can raise through MicroPlace, Oikocredit has the potential to reach millions of the working poor in India. BISWA operates in the most impoverished regions of India, primarily in Orissa. Through this microfinance institution and our other microfinance partners in India, Oikocredit works to reach the poorest of the poor at the very bottom of the pyramid,” said Survana Gandham, Oikocredit’s regional manager in India. “Our continued relationship with MicroPlace makes it possible for Oikocredit to have a significant impact on the poverty crisis in India, one small loan at a time.”

About Oikocredit

Launched by the World Council of Churches in 1975, Oikocredit is a worldwide, cooperative financial institution offering loans, capital and technical support to microfinance institutions and other enterprises focused on building opportunities for impoverished entrepreneurs without access to credit. Oikocredit attracts investment capital from individuals and organizations who invest in Oikocredit products such as shares and bonds. Oikocredit pays its shareholders a modest yearly return.

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Source: BusinessWire (link opens in a new window)