IFC making largest ever microfinance investment in Kazakhstan

ALMATY (TCA) — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a senior syndicated loan of $82 million equivalent in Kazakh tenge to Microfinance organization KMF LLC, a leading Kazakh microfinance institution, to boost lending to micro and small enterprises, including women entrepreneurs and customers in rural areas of Kazakhstan.

The investment comprises a senior loan of $10 million for IFC’s own account and a Hedged A-Loan Participation (HALP) of up to $72 million for the account of leading international investors, and is the largest ever deal in the microfinance sector of Kazakhstan. IFC uses the HALP, a syndication product allowing IFC to sell U.S. dollar participation in a local currency-denominated loan, to provide KMF with much needed local currency financing to support its growth while protecting the investors from currency risk. The group of committed investors consists of Invest in Visions GmbH; Incofin Investment Management; Triple Jump V.A.; MicroVest Short Duration Fund; Bank im Bistum Essen eG; Oikocredit, Ecumenical Development Cooperative Society U.A; and Symbiotics SA, the IFC said.

Shalkar Zhussupov, chairman of KMF’s management board, said the company had significantly increased its outreach over the last two years by opening new offices in remote areas. Its client base has also expanded from 150,000 to 220,000 borrowers, with its credit portfolio increasing from 34 to 90 billion Kazakh tenge. “There is huge demand for additional financing and we are grateful to IFC for its help in bringing investments to Kazakhstan to stimulate entrepreneurship and drive growth,” he said.

“With this investment, IFC plays a key role in the Kazakh microfinance sector by mobilizing funding from international partners, securing local currency hedging and extending the loan in local currency, thus increasing access to local currency finance for underserved population in rural areas of Kazakhstan and women entrepreneurs,” said Manuel Reyes-Retana, IFC Regional Head for the Financial Institutions Group, Europe, Middle East and North Africa.

This is IFC’s second HALP project to date while the first HALP structure was used for KMF in 2017. Over the past several years, IFC has supported KMF with a range of financial products totaling $131 million equivalent in Kazakh tenge, including loans, risk management solutions as well as advisory services to enhance its corporate governance.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

View more articles fromTCA