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FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, announced today the signing of a USD 116 mln syndicated facility to its existing client Banco Pichincha to finance both green projects and women-owned SMEs in Ecuador. FMO has acted as lead arranger and lender for this transaction, providing USD 20 mln in financing alongside 6 other partners: Blue Orchard Finance Ltd, eco.business Fund, GCPF, ILX, responsAbility and Symbiotics Investments.
Banco Pichincha is the largest bank in Ecuador, focused on providing personal and corporate banking, together with microfinance services. The universal bank is seen as a market leader within the country, reaching roughly 4.6 million Ecuadorians and serving over 70,000 SMEs. Within the banking sector, it has the most sizable microfinance portfolio, and offers alternative distribution products such as Village Banking to reach non-banking users located in shops or kiosks, thereby increasing access to finance for the unbanked.
In addition to its strong financial inclusion focus, Banco Pichincha has a strong Green and Gender strategy, demonstrated through both financial and non-financial products. The bank has disbursed over USD 400 mln in Green Loans and has a remarkable portfolio of USD ~1bln in loans supporting women-owned/women-led (M)SMEs. To that end, they issued the first Gender bond of USD 100 mln in Ecuador as part of their Gender strategy. Furthermore, they have a fully defined Green strategy, offering various Green loan products throughout different sectors in Ecuador. The bank further aims to contribute the sustainable development of Ecuador’s agriculture sector, through technical assistance partnerships with experienced commercial banks.
FMO has arranged this facility to provide Banco Pichincha with the financial support necessary to provide financing to women-owned SMEs (35%) and green clients and projects (65%). This transaction clearly demonstrates FMO’s additionality, qualifying for several SDGs, including SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), and SDG 5 (Gender Equality).
Huib-Jan de Ruijter, Co-Chief Investment Officer at FMO said: “We are thrilled to support our existing client Banco Pichincha once again by arranging and participating in this high-impact syndicated transaction alongside our partners. Banco Pichincha’s overall strategy aligns strongly with our mandate and strategic objectives, and we are proud to see that their strong commitment to both financial inclusion and sustainability through their substantial Green and Gender portfolios has been recognized externally, as well as through their strong financial performance. We look forward to jointly contributing to the further sustainable development of Ecuador.”
Alejandro Ribadeneira Jaramillo, Chief Financial Officer at Banco Pichincha said: “This is the third financial agreement we have successfully sealed with FMO. Banco Pichincha has a strong commitment to promote economic development and social inclusion in Ecuador, a common view shared by FMO. This syndicated financing will contribute to strengthening and increasing our SMEs and green portfolios. We look forward to deepening our strong relationship”.
Daniel Escalante, Senior Investment Officer at BlueOrchard said: “We are pleased to support Banco Pichincha, a company that is serving a client segment that has largely been underserved by formal financial institutions. We have been impressed by their commitment for financial inclusion, women empowerment, and sustainability. We look forward to further supporting the growth of the institution and micro, small and medium enterprises in Ecuador”.
Michael Evers, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the eco.business Fund, stated: “With this investment we aim to further support the agribusiness finance development agenda in Ecuador, enhancing the sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity conservation throughout the production process. We are proud to continue investing alongside our partners in Banco Pichincha in implementing their long-term green strategy."
Sebastián Sombra, Symbiotics Investments Regional Manager, Latin America said: “While 2021 Global Findex data provides a promising trajectory for financial inclusion in Ecuador, 36% of adult population remains unbanked and only 15% of women have access to a loan in the formal financial sector. Together with Banco Pichincha’s demonstrated commitment to grow its green portfolio, we are excited to continue fostering sustainable development in Ecuador by participating in this USD 116 mln facility.”
FMO is the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank. As a leading impact investor, FMO supports sustainable private sector growth in developing countries and emerging markets by investing in ambitious projects and entrepreneurs. FMO believes that a strong private sector leads to economic and social development and has a 50+ year proven track in enabling entrepreneurs to make local economies more inclusive, productive, resilient and sustainable. FMO focuses on three sectors that have high development impact: Agribusiness, Food & Water, Energy, and Financial Institutions. With a total committed portfolio of EUR ~12 billion spanning over 85 countries, FMO is one of the larger bilateral private sector development banks globally. For more information: please visit www.fmo.nl.
About Banco Pichincha:
Banco Pichincha is Ecuador's leading financial institution, with assets of $14.909 million, which as of November 2022, is equivalent to 27% of the banking system. After nearly 116 years of activity, it has grown from being a local bank to become an international financial institution with presence in six countries. For more information: https://www.pichincha.com/portal/
BlueOrchard is a leading global impact investment manager. As a pioneering impact investor, the firm is dedicated to generating lasting positive impact for communities and the environment. BlueOrchard was founded in 2001, by initiative of the UN, as the world’s first commercial manager of microfinance debt investments. Today, BlueOrchard offers impact investment solutions across asset classes, connecting millions of entrepreneurs in emerging and frontier markets with investors. BlueOrchard has invested to date over USD 10 billion across more than 105 countries. 255mn people with low income in emerging and frontier markets received access to financial and related services with the support of BlueOrchard as of June 2022. BlueOrchard is a member of the Schroders Group. For further information, please visit: www.blueorchard.com
About responsAbility Investments AG
responsAbility Investments AG is a leading impact asset manager specializing in private market investments across three investment themes to directly contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Financial Inclusion, to finance the growth of Micro & SMEs; Climate Finance, to contribute to a net zero pathway; and Sustainable Food, to sustainably feed an ever-growing population. All responsAbility investment solutions target specific measurable impact alongside market returns.
Since its inception in 2003, responsAbility has deployed over USD 13 billion in impact investments. With over 200 employees collaborating across seven offices, the company currently manages USD 3.6 billion in assets across 280 portfolio companies in 75 countries. Since 2022 responsAbility is part of M&G plc, the international savings, and investments business, and contributes to enhancing M&G’s capabilities in impact investing. For more information: https://www.responsability.com/
About the eco.business Fund
The eco.business Fund aims to promote business and consumption practices that contribute to biodiversity conservation, to the sustainable use of natural resources, and to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts. By providing financing for business practices that conserve nature and foster biodiversity, the fund seeks investments with both environmental and financial returns. The fund mainly provides loans to qualified financial institutions that on-lend the money to eligible borrowers, which include holders of recognized certifications or those making improvements in line with conservation and biodiversity goals. The fund supports sustainable operations in the sectors of agriculture, fishery (including aquaculture), forestry and tourism.
For more information please visit www.ecobusiness.fund and follow us on Twitter @ecobusinessfund.
About Symbiotics Investments
Symbiotics is the leading market access platform for impact investing, dedicated to private markets in emerging and frontier economies. The group offers investment, asset management and capacity building services. Since 2005, Symbiotics Investments has originated over 7,100 investments representing more than USD 7.5 billion for 541 companies in 94 countries. For more information: symbioticsgroup.com