2010 Figures: Oikocredit Sharpens Financial and Social Return in 2010

By Oikocredit, PRNE
Tuesday, March 1, 2011

AMERSFOORT, The Netherlands, March 2, 2011 - In 2010, concerns have accompanied successes in the development finance
sector. For Oikocredit - one of the world's largest private microfinance
financiers - the year was one of solid social and financial performance and
further innovations in the field of social performance management.

In its 35th year, Oikocredit's total assets grew 19% to EUR 640 million
by year end. In addition, the development financing portfolio - the money in
the field - increased 22% to EUR 481 million, up from EUR 394 million the
previous year.

Oikocredit's network of partner cooperatives, microfinance institutions
and small to medium enterprises served more than 20 million people,
increasing access to fair financial services and markets for the poor.

Support for development finance from investors also strengthened during
2010, with capital inflow at just over EUR 64 million. Oikocredit's net
result in 2010 amounted to EUR 16.1 million, of which EUR 8.7 million (2% of
member capital) is proposed to be paid as dividend to its members. The
remainder will be used for capacity building and additions to reserves.

Sharpening the focus

With the successes of 2010 came concerns in microfinance. The growing
sector has attracted stakeholders with varying motivations. Reports of
abusive collection practices in microfinance institutions (MFIs) and
over-indebtedness of clients have highlighted the importance of selecting the
right partners for Oikocredit. Supporting and challenging those partners to
improve social performance and due diligence continues to be at the forefront
of Oikocredit's mission. At a local level, all regional offices have
appointed social performance management specialists to assist project
partners with social performance development and management.

Internally, Oikocredit has extended its expectations of project partners,
advocating the Client Protection Principles to ensure end-clients are treated
fairly. The Principles were integrated within new partner and new contract
approval criteria and play a vital role in ensuring partners maintain their
social mission.

This year, Oikocredit plans to further increase its portfolio by focusing
on projects in African countries, and emphasise the role of agricultural
enterprises in development. Oikocredit will work to remain a leader in the
field of social performance management and continue to work for increased
transparency in the sector, tailored products and the protection of

Oikocredit is a cooperative financial institution that offers loans or
investment capital to MFIs, cooperatives, fair trade organizations and
small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the developing world. Oikocredit
offers a dual return to its investors: financial and social. In addition to
earning modest financial returns, investors are secure in the knowledge that
their money is being used to fight poverty, promote fair trade and respect
our planet's natural resources.

Press contact Oikocredit International: Kawien Ziedses des Plantes, kziedsesdesplantes at oikocredit.org, +31(0)6-272-549-04. Press contact Oikocredit USA: Terry Provance, usa at oikocredit.org, +1-202-728-41-40; Press contact Oikocredit UK: Patrick Hynes, uk at okocredit.org, +44-(0)1995-602806

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