JSC MFO Crystal, the largest microfinance organization in Georgia, received financing from EFA Group, a Singapore-based asset management firm specializing in private debt, to support its expanding activities.
MFO Crystal and EFA Group have signed a senior unsecured loan agreement of USD 2.5 million where the facility will be used to provide credit to micro and small enterprises, and support the development of tourism, agriculture and service sectors.
This is MFO Crystal’s first collaboration with an Asia-based fund manager. Crystal primarily serves microentrepreneurs and farmers, with a strong focus on rural clients, and is a true alignment with EFA’s vision of creating meaningful impact on businesses and livelihoods through financing.
Having diversified funding sources is a critical factor in allowing expansion of MFO Crystal’s services to its new customers.
In his comment, Archil Bakuradze, the Chairman of Supervisory Board of MFO Crystal stated: “We are delighted to start this promising cooperation with EFA. Georgia is a dynamically developing economy at the historical crossroads between Europe and Asia and it is important that, alongside our long-standing partnerships with European or US institutions, Crystal is building cooperation with Asian investors.”
“As an enabler of growth, we aim to create a positive impact to real economy businesses by catering to their financing needs. MFO Crystal is the perfect platform to reach out to Georgia’s local entrepreneurs and help contribute to their financial and economic success,” said Francois Dotta, CEO of EFA Group.
EFA Group is an independent asset manager specializing in private debt strategies, with a focus on real economy businesses. Headquartered in Singapore, the Group provides alternative financing solutions to enterprises in Asia, Middle East, Europe and Africa and currently has over US$1 billion of assets under management.
EFA has won multiple awards including the Private Debt Specialist of the Year (Singapore) and Best Alternative Trade Financier in Asia Pacific. Since its inception in 2003, the Group has since expanded in size and capabilities, and now employs over 60 personnel between its offices in Singapore, Geneva, Dubai, Istanbul, London and Melbourne. The firm is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Dubai Financial Services Authority under EuroFin Investments Pte Ltd.
About MFO Crystal
MFO Crystal is a fast growing and dynamic microfinance institution (MFI) supporting micro and small businesses and contributing towards sustainable economic development. The company supports entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers in realizing their business potential, reaching financial stability and improving their living standards.
The company manages more than US$100 million in total assets, has 1000+ employees, 62 regional branches and serves more than 95,000 unique clients across Georgia.
MFO Crystal is the first FITCH rated MFI in the region to be assigned a ‘B’ Rating with a Stable Outlook. After receiving the credit rating, MFO Crystal became first MFO entering in capital market and issuing 10 million GEL denominated bonds.