BBVA Microfinance Foundation enters Panama

  • Acquires 70% of the capital of Microserfín to facilitate access to credit for low-income entrepreneurs in Panama
  • Microserfín has 9,000 customers, 120 employees and 8 branches.
  • The Foundation’s goal is to consolidate Microserfín as the leading agency and benchmark in serving low-income entrepreneurs and focusing on rural areas, which have no access to the conventional financial system.
  • In Panama, despite having shown the highest growth rate in Latin America in the last 20 years, nearly 30% of the population lives in poverty and 11% in extreme poverty. It is one of countries with the greatest income and gender inequality. 54% of adults have no access to the financial system.
  • BBVA Microfinance Foundation is present in 5 countries: Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Puerto Rico, and it serves over 800,000 customers through its microfinance institutions.

BBVA Microfinance Foundation has reached an agreement with Banco Panameño de la Vivienda S.A. to purchase the 70% stake that the entity has in the company stock of Soluciones de Microfinanzas S.A (Microserfín).

With this transaction, 70% of Microserfín is formed by BBVA Microfinance Foundation as a senior partner, and 30% by Microfinanzas S.A., Foundation for the Microenterprise Promotion.

Microserfín specializes in lending to micro companies, with a customer base made up of 9,000 low-income entrepreneurs, 120 employees and 8 branches located in different geographical areas of the country (Panama, San Miguelito, Tocumen, La Chorrera, Chitre, Santiago, David and Changuinola).

According to the president of BBVA Microfinance Foundation, Manuel Méndez del Río Piovich, “we want Microserfín to be the benchmark entity in Panama’s microfinance sector, a leader in innovation and access to specialized products and services for people on low incomes, focusing on rural areas, where microfinance has no presence”.

“Therefore, in addition to capital and resources to ensure the entity’s sustainable growth, we will provide models, technology, processes, procedures and management schemes that will enable innovative and efficient growth and expansion, in order to serve more people with better and more products, “said Méndez del Río.

The acquisition of Microserfín is part of BBVA Microfinance Foundation’s expansion project in Central America. Currently the Foundation has entities in Peru, with Financiera Confianza and Caja Nuestra Gente; in Colombia, with Banco de las Microfinanzas Bancamía; in Puerto Rico with la Corporación para las Microfinanzas; in Chile with Servicios Microfinancieros S.A., and in Argentina with the company Servicios Microfinacieros S.A.

Regulated and supervised entities through which the Foundation currently serves more than 800,000 customers, it has a network of 396 branches and 3,703 employees.

Soluciones de Microfinanzas S.A. Microserfín

Microserfín belonged to Banvivienda (which owned 70% of Microserfín from December 1, 2007), an entity of Grupo Mundial Tenedora, S.A., which is a financial conglomerate of Panamanian origin. The remaining 30% is owned by Microfinanzas S.A., the holding company which in turn has the Foundation as its sole stockholder for the Microenterprise Promotion.