Adjusted investment policy of BRS Microfinance Coop ...

05 January 2022

... goes hand-in-hand with coaching and training from BRS

After five years of investing in microfinance institutions, the Board of Directors looked back with satisfaction at the results of our investment cooperative. Thanks to the loans to microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Africa, Latin America and Asia, these institutions have granted loans to more than 20,000 micro-entrepreneurs in the South every year. BRS Microfinance Coop can also count on 1,770 loyal partners who have added almost five million euros in capital to the start-up capital provided by Cera and KBC.


Excellent results, but the evaluation of five years of BRS Microfinance Coop also shows that there is room for improvement. And for BRS, “better” means: how can we offer more added value to MFI partners? “Never waste a good crisis” is a well-known quote, and the coronavirus pandemic shows that the risks in the microfinance sector can change quickly due to external circumstances. At such times, it has proven important to be close to the MFI partners in order to assess the situation properly and offer additional technical support if necessary. At BRS, it is clear that this works best at organisations when our investments go hand-in-hand with the coaching and training that BRS offers through its non-profit organisation.

The Board of Directors has therefore decided to focus future investments on the MFI partners who are closely involved in the functioning of BRS vzw (coaching and training). In line with the strategy of BRS vzw, these are savings and credit cooperatives that offer financial services to rural entrepreneurs and farmers. Despite the fact that most of these MFI partners have less experience with external financing and may pose a greater risk, BRS Microfinance Coop has opted for this policy because we can really make a difference for these organisations. In addition to its intensive cooperation with individual MFIs, BRS Microfinance Coop will diversify its portfolio by investing in specialised microfinance funds.

KBC and Cera fully endorse this new policy and confirm that they will maintain their contribution of 17.5 million euros to the cooperative. The private partners (partners with A shares) who support this new policy are very welcome to stay on board, but BRS Microfinance Coop also respects the choice of partners who wish to exit with their A shares at this stage. Until 2026, these partners will always receive their paid-up contribution of EUR 500 per share when they leave BRS Microfinance Coop, regardless of the results of BRS Microfinance Coop. This is possible thanks to the commitment of Cera cv to adjust any difference with the original contribution value. By 2026, all private partners will have had the opportunity to hold their A shares for at least five years, which is a condition for definitively acquiring the 5% tax benefit.

No new issue of A shares for private investors is planned for the time being as BRS Microfinance Coop has sufficient funds at its disposal.

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