August 19, 2016

Norwegian finance body to become shareholder of Myanmar Investments Ltd

Myanmar Investments International Limited announced on Monday that the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) has signed up to become a shareholder in Myanmar Finance International Ltd. (MFIL), MIL’s microfinance joint venture.
Myanmar Investments International Limited (MIL) is the only Myanmar focused investment company whose shares trade on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, while Norfund is the Norwegian development finance institution owned by the Norwegian Government to combat poverty in selected countries through private sector development.
One of the areas that it specialises in is microfinance and as a result brings significant experience to MFIL.
Norfund will own a 25 percent shareholding in MFIL, while MIL and its joint venture partner Myanmar Finance Co. Ltd. will own 37.5 percent each. MFIL intends to secure long-term debt facilities to leverage its business and Norfund’s participation as a shareholder and its connections with well-established microfinance lenders will greatly assist in this. If required, MIL will consider making additional equity contributions to MFIL in future.
“Norfund is an experienced investor in microfinance businesses in developing countries where they provide both equity and debt financing. We are delighted that Norfund is joining us as co-investors in MFIL. We look forward to leveraging on Norfund’s experience in the sector to build MFIL into one of the leading microfinance companies in Myanmar,” said Aung Htun, MIL’s Managing Director.
U Htet Nyi, Chairman of MFIL added, “We are honoured to welcome Norfund as a shareholder in MFIL. Their participation validates our belief in both the opportunities that exist in the microfinance space in Myanmar as well as the platform that we have already established in MFIL.”
MFIL is the first Myanmar focused investment company to be admitted to trading in London and has been established for the purpose of investing in businesses operating in or with business exposure to Myanmar. The Company will target businesses operating in sectors that the directors believe have strong growth potential and thereby can be expected to provide attractive yields, capital gains or both. In addition to investing into local businesses the Company will also partner with foreign companies investing in Myanmar.
Kjell Roland, Norfund’s Managing Director said, “We are impressed with MFIL’s progress and are looking forward to being an active shareholder in MFIL.  Microfinance is a cornerstone of Norfund’s investments in financial institutions in developing countries. Provision of financial services to low‐income individuals and micro, small and medium sized enterprises that otherwise would have little or no means of access to capital is essential for enabling economic growth and poverty reduction in Myanmar.”
Norfund’s investment is subject to typical closing conditions, such as the registration of the new shares and the amendment of the articles of association of MFIL.


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