MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Symbiotics to Place $105 Million Debt for Pensioenfonds Detailhandel in Microfinance and SME Finance in Emerging Markets

Symbiotics, a Swiss-based investor, recently announced that Pensioenfonds Detailhandel, a pension administrator for Dutch retail workers, has chosen the company to manage a private debt fund with a volume of 100 million euros. ($105 million) to enable progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The portfolio will focus on investing in local currency to support micro-small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), especially those that improve access to education, health care, climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Founded in 2004, Symbiotics provides for-profit investment intermediaries and business services to investors and MSME development practitioners as well as lenders to low- and middle-income households. In 2020, the company issued new investments totaling $991 million, resulting in a direct portfolio of $2.4 billion invested in 291 financial institutions in 75 countries. The company also performs compliance checks, credit risk ratings, social responsibility ratings, and financial and operational advisory reports.

Founded in 1972, Pensioenfonds Detailhandel has 1.3 million clients and manages total assets valued at 37 billion euros ($39 billion) in 2022. This portfolio consists largely of government bonds, corporate bonds, stocks, real estate and mortgages. The company’s three main objectives are: (1) to keep investment costs low and diversify risk; (2) contribute to a better environment; and (3) minimize risks associated with environmental, social and governance issues.

By Vighnesh Avadhanam, Research Associate

Sources and additional resources

Symbiotics Group press release

Financial statements of the Symbiotics group

Webpage of the Pensionnfonds Detailhandel

Description of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

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