PRESS RELEASE: Accion Acquires 10 Percent Stake in Peruvian Microfinance Institution Credinka
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Boston, MA and Lima, Peru, September 24, 2014 – Accion, a leader in microfinance, today announced its purchase of a 10 percent stake in Peruvian microfinance institution Credinka from majority stake holder Diviso Grupo Financiero.
Peru’s labor force is heavily concentrated in the service sector, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a fundamental role in the country’s rural economy. They, however, lack access to credit and other financial services, with only about 20 percent of the population holding an account at a financial institution. Although Peru’s urban centers currently experience high levels of microfinance competition, Credinka, headquartered in Cusco and with 10 regional offices throughout the country, has performed well by prioritizing Southern rural areas and cities with a low degree of market penetration.
Accion will use its over 40 years of financial industry experience in Peru to build on Credinka’s mission and its goal to become the largest rural microfinance institution in the country. “Accion’s roots are in Latin America, so we are excited by the opportunity to help build a rural market in the region, especially one in which the need for financial services is so acute,” said Michael Schlein, President and CEO of Accion.
Luis Baba and Richard Webb, DIVISO’s President and Vice President, respectively, agree that Accion’s partnership with DIVISO to strengthen Credinka is a significant milestone not only for Credinka’s operations, but also – and above all – for the country, because it shows renewed confidence in Peru’s financial sector by the international community.
“Accion is supportive of Credinka’s strategy for growth in rural areas of Peru, and the potential to bring thousands of new clients into the formal financial system,” says Esteban Altschul, Chief Operating Officer at Accion.
DIVISO’s 2008 acquisition of a controlling stake in Credinka has resulted in Credinka’s steady growth, which is currently the second largest rural savings and loan company in Peru. In its 20-year history, Credinka has amassed a U.S. $155 million loan portfolio and a similar size in deposits. It currently operates a network of 48 branches, with 33,704 borrowers, and 42,992 savers.
“Focusing on the rural sector and converting Credinka into a bank are the main points of convergence for Accion and DIVISO, both of which are committed to continue to expand financial inclusion in Peru,” said José Fernando Romero, DIVISO’s managing director and Credinka’s board chair.