BBVAMF’s entity in Chile is the first microfinance institution to issue a social commercial paper in the market

Today, Fondo Esperanza, a BBVAMF affiliate, announced its inaugural social commercial paper issuance under the 500.000 UF (Chilean Unit of Account) Program registered in Chile’s Financial Market Commission (CMF). The tranche is worth 9.500 million Chilean Pesos, and is a non-call short term fixed rate note issuance for multilateral investors, the largest-ever social commercial paper issuance from a non-deposit taking issuer in the Chilean market. The proceeds from the commercial paper will finance low-income microentrepreneurs in Chile, building on Fondo Esperanza’s record as the largest private fund provider for this population.

The commercial paper issuance, a 2-year fixed rate tranche, has been fully subscribed by International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private finance arm of the World Bank. The IFC committed to not only financing projects but also to creating markets and integrating new ways of solving critical development challenges by mobilizing private sector solutions where they are needed most.

“This commercial paper program is a milestone for the country, and it reaffirms our commitment to support low-income microentrepreneurs who have shown great resilience during the pandemic.  We are now focusing on helping them to reactivate their productive activities and to weather this pandemic”, assured BBVAMF’s  CFO, Alejandro Lorca.

By the end of 2019, Fondo Esperanza registered a portfolio worth USD 82 million and served 128,000 entrepreneurs in Chile; 81% of them are women of which half are heads of households. This operation’s gender perspective will be certified by a rating agency specialized in corporate social responsibility and ESG criteria, Vigeo Eiris.

From their part, IFC’s director for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, David Tinel, underscored that “it is a priority for IFC to support institutions that facilitate financial resources to vulnerable sectors that have been most affected by the pandemic in Latin America.” He also noted that “we hope that IFC’s underwriting of Fondo Esperanza’s first issuance will set a precedent for other MFIs and similar organizations to also access the Chilean capital market.”

One of the leading financial institutions in Latin America, LarrainVial, has also taken part in this operation, as advisors. According to its Corporate Finance director Sebastián Cereceda, “this agreement is proof of Fondo Esperanza’s robust methodology which positively impacts the businesses of the entrepreneurs it serves. At the same time, the MFI also registers low default rates in its portfolio. We see great interest in the market to take part in this model that combines sustainability and profitability.” Additionally, BBVAMF’s institution has received legal counsel from Barros & Errázuriz, one of the most important law firms in Chile. 

Social impact assessment to fulfill its purpose

More than 80% of the entrepreneurs served by Fondo Esperanza are women. They are the main beneficiaries of this operation.

Established in 2007, the BBVA Microfinance Foundation works towards the sustainable development of people living under vulnerable conditions who thrive through small businesses. To this end, it has set  strategic priorities focusing on inclusion, women’s empowerment and environmental sustainability, driven by digitization, human capital and social impact assessment. Indeed, the impact assessment model developed by BBVAMF reflects the progress of more than 2.3 million people it serves in five countries in Latin America. Its objective is to track its progress in fulfilling its purpose and  identify to what extent its strategy needs to be adapted.

According to its 2019 Social Performance Report, 34% of the entrepreneurs it serves overcome poverty after two years of working with BBVAMF. In the case of Fondo Esperanza, this figure amounts to 49%.