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Cablegate: Nicaragua: Post Comments On Opic Financing for Global Partnership Mfi Fund

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMU #0314 0731936
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131936Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2263
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS MANAGUA 000314

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CEN AND WHA/EPSC
STATE PASS TO OPIC - RGREENBERG
USDOC FOR 4332/ITA/MAC/WH/MSIEGELMAN
3134/ITA/USFCS/OIO/WH/MKESHISHIAN/BARTHUR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EINV EAID EFIN NU
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA: POST COMMENTS ON OPIC FINANCING FOR GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP MFI FUND

REF: STATE 22448

1. (U) Reftel requests post's comments regarding OPIC's direct loan
to Global Partnerships Microfinance Fund 2008 (The Fund). The Fund
has an established track record working with many of Nicaragua's
microfinance institutions (MFIs). We are not aware of any
derogatory information on the Fund or its operations in country.
There are over 300 MFIs registered in Nicaragua, managing a
portfolio of over USD 400 million. While two institutions dominate
half of this market, about forty, mostly located in rural areas not
reached by formal banks, provide essential financial services to
Nicaragua's poorest producers.

2. (U) All four Nicaraguan MFI institutions being screened by the
Fund for participation in the program are well established in
Nicaragua. All are members of the National Association of
Microfinance Institutions (ASOMIF) and have received funds from
international institutions, including the Ford Foundation, USAID,
and the Inter-American Development Bank. Post is not aware of any
derogatory information regarding these institutions. Paragraphs
below summarize information on each MFI.

3. (U) Fondo del Desarrollo Local (FDL): Founded by the Jesuit
University Universidad Centroamericana, FDL is one of the largest
NGO MFIs in Nicaragua. It focuses primarily on providing credit to
the rural sector through 28 branch offices thorough out the country.
FDL's lending focuses on promoting entrepreneurs, with half of the
funds going to agricultural projects. In 2006 FDL had a gross loan
portfolio of USD 53 million, total assets of USD 66 million, and
72,000 active borrowers. Web site: www.fdl.org.ni

4. (U) Cooperativa 20 de Abril: This is a multi-service cooperative
focused exclusively on offering services in the municipality of
Quilali in the department of Nueva Segovia. The cooperative has
four principal activities: commercialization of agricultural goods,
micro-credit, savings, and a co-op owned store. It is the only
institution in Quilali that offers savings accounts and the store is
the only outlet in Quilali for many consumer and agricultural goods.
Of the loan portfolio 80% goes to agricultural activities. In 2005
the Cooperative had a gross loan portfolio of USD 5.6 million, total
assets of USD 6.4 million, and 5,700 active borrowers. E-mail:
coop20ab@ibw.com.ni

5. (U) Fundacion para la Promocion y el Desarrollo (PRODESA):
PRODESA is headquartered in Juigalpa and primarily operates in the
southern and eastern sides of Lake Nicaragua and the western part of
the southern Atlantic Coast region. In many remote towns, PRODESA
is the only financial institution of any kind, including MFIs.
PRODESA's loans go to agriculture, livestock and housing mortgages.
In 2005 it had a gross loan portfolio of USD 14.7 million, total
assets of USD 16.8 million, and 16,000 active borrowers. E-mail:
prodesa@ameri-cble.com.ni

6. (U) Programas para la Mujer (Pro Mujer): Pro Mujer is an
international development organization with vast experience in
several Latin American Countries, including Nicaragua. Pro Mujer
Nicaragua was established in 1996 with resources from USAID. Pro
Mujer focuses on working with female headed households, particularly
in urban areas. It currently operates in Chinandega, Masaya,
Managua and Leon. ProMujer also offers training in basic business
skills, sexual and reproductive health education, and gender and
self-esteem awareness. In 2005 Pro Mujer had a gross loan portfolio
of USD 3 million, total assets of USD 4 million, and 17,000 active
borrowers. Web-site: www.promujer.org.

TRIVELLI

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