BROU microfinance unit lends US$4.6mn to SMEs to cope with winter season

- Friday, June 24, 2011

BROU microfinance unit lends US$4.6mn to SMEs to cope with winter season

República Microfinanzas - the microfinance unit of Uruguay's largest bank, state-owned BROU - has disbursed 86mn pesos (US$4.6mn) to more than 960 SME dairy farmers for the southern hemisphere winter season, local daily El País reported.

The microloans have been so successful that República Microfinanzas is in talks with the agriculture ministry to expand its lending to other agricultural and farming sectors, the unit's general manager, Luis Murias, was quoted as saying by the daily.

República Microfinanzas has more than 3,000 clients and has disbursed some 155mn pesos in microloans since it launched in March last year. Murias said its 30-day non-performing loan ratio is very low, at 1.3%.

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The microfinance institution has offices in four cities, including capital Montevideo, and expects to open a fifth office in the coming days.