TWO Bangladesh foreign firms have expressed interest to invest in the country’s micro-finance sector to provide capital to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), a micro financial market expert has said.
Association of Microfinance of Zambia president Webby Mate who, however, could not name the companies said the microfinance companies based in Bangladesh have been carrying out feasibility studies since last year.
Mr Mate said in an interview recently the firms intend to set up operations in the country and are currently reviewing their findings.
“During the course of 2014, we did receive a few institutions that were basically carrying out surveys in the microfinance market to look for opportunities to see whether it was good enough for them to invest.
“But, I can only mention two international firms that were in the country between July and August, 2014 and completed their feasibility studies. We are waiting for them to possibly come back, once they are done reviewing the findings,” he said.
Mr Mate said investing in the microfinance sector is an expensive venture with long-term capital inflow although it has potential to contribute to poverty reduction in the country through the provision of investment particularly to the MSMEs.
“It is not for investors who want a quick return but, for those who have a long-term plan perceptive on their investment…There is huge potential in the microfinance sector, as majority of our people have no access to financial services.
He said the unbanked population can significantly benefit from the microfinance sector as it is a component of the financial sector.
On the kwacha volatility, Mr Mate said the local unit has worsened the already high cost of doing business as Zambia is an import-denominated country.
Since the beginning of the year, the kwacha has been volatile against the United States dollar.
SOURCE: Zambia Daily Mail
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