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NZ billionaire buys stake in microfinance venture

NZ billionaire buys stake in microfinance venture
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First Published: Tue, May 29 2007. 12 54 AM IST
Updated: Tue, May 29 2007. 12 54 AM IST
Dubai: New Zealand billionaire Christopher Chandler’s Legatum group bought a $4.5 million (Rs18.45 crore) stake in Mumbai-based Financial Information Network & Operations Ltd, saying the investment will help spur growth in India’s microfinance industry.
Financial Information seeks to expand its banking technology business, aimed at microfinance lenders, enabling the small loan industry to “scale rapidly and reach the 600 million people currently without access to credit and basic financial services,” Legatum president Mark Stoleson said in an email on Monday.
Dubai, UAE-based Legatum, which said it spent $1 billion on Indian finance firms over the past three years, didn’t give more details on its holding in Financial Information.
The investment group also bought a $24.4 million stake in Share Microfin Ltd to help the Hyderabad-based company boost lending to India’s poor, Legatum said on 15 May.
India is seeing income rising on the back of a strong economy. McKinsey & Co. forecasts the number of poor in India, or households with income of less than $5.4 a day, will drop to 22% by 2025.
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First Published: Tue, May 29 2007. 12 54 AM IST
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