FMO 2019

Annual Report

2019: a year of overall stable development impact and strong partnerships.

We did well on mobilizing additional capital as well as a substantial increase in the investments through the government funds. Almost €3 billion was invested in developing countries as a result of FMO’s activities; €1.7 billion on FMO’s own books, €297 million using public funds and we mobilized €868 million from third parties.


We believe in a world in which, in 2050, more than 9 billion people live well and within the means of the planet’s resources.



We empower entrepreneurs to build a better world.


Your preferred partner to invest in local prosperity.


  • Higher
    Impact Portfolio

  • Deeper

  • Higher


  • Agribusiness, Food & Water

  • Energy

  • Financial Institutions

  • Dutch Business


Making the difference

We are courageous and entrepreneurial

We create value for all our stakeholders

We accelerate sustainable development


We respect differences and listen

We embrace dilemmas

We include multiple perspectives


We communicate expectations and share feedback

We learn, professionalize and innovate together

We are accountable and support clear decisions


We are responsible and compliant

We are transparent and build trust

We are true to our vision and mission


Decent Work & Economic Growth

By investing in underserved markets, we support job growth, improved labor standards and economic prosperity. Jobs allow people to develop themselves and lift their families out of poverty.


Jobs supported

€2,857 million

Total investment volume

Economic growth, employment and decent work for all. 

Reduced Inequalities

SDG 10 is about promoting social and economic inclusion of all, which we support by investing in the world’s poorest countries and inclusive business.


Reducing Inequalities investments (% of total volume)

€798 million

Total Reducing Inequalities investment volume

Reducing inequalities within and between countries.

Climate Action

We provide finance to projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase resource efficiency, preserve and grow natural capital and support climate mitigation. We aim to align our portfolio to a 1.5-degree pathway.


Green investments (% of total volume)

€961 million

Total Green investment volume

Low carbon and climate resilient economies.

Before we invest and during the investment period, we carefully research the financing opportunity and assess its impact.

Our ESG standards

Environmental, social and governance standards are an integral part of FMO’s investment process. These standards serve several purposes. First, they help reduce the risk to the environment, employees and workers, communities and other stakeholders. Second, they help our clients to contribute positively to the SDGs. Third, they reduce risks to our clients and thereby to FMO.

Dilemmas we face

Dilemmas we face

Financing some sectors increases the risk of supporting tax avoidance

Financing the agribusiness sector means also financing commodity traders, who by the nature of their business are multiple entities carrying out various supply chain roles across multiple jurisdictions around the world.

Read more about: Financing some sectors increases the risk of supporting tax avoidance

Dilemmas we face

Can you fund projects linked to sectors with a bad reputation? 

Our NL Business team has a wider sector mandate and can invest in sectors other than FMO's key sectors. The team financed a project involved in the transshipment of minerals from western Africa.

Read more about: Can you fund projects linked to sectors with a bad reputation? 

Dilemmas we face

Invest in non-renewables or help the energy transition? It is not always either/or.

Ivory Coast has an electricity production deficit and only 65% of its population currently has access to electricity, hampering economic growth. Meanwhile, the country is committed to a 42% renewable energy target by 2030.

Read more about: Invest in non-renewables or help the energy transition? It is not always either/or.

Dilemmas we face

What if mobilizing private investment means undermining your own profits?

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, private investment in emerging markets will need to go from billions to trillions. Development Finance Institutions like us have a key role to play, as we aim to attract more institutional investors to our markets. This mobilizing role enables us to act as an accelerator boosting investments in developing countries.

Read more about: What if mobilizing private investment means undermining your own profits?

Dilemmas we face

Distorting commercial debt markets vs. attracting private investment

The trillions needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 cannot come from Multilateral Development Banks and Development Finance Institutions alone. Mobilizing private capital towards SDGs and frontier markets is essential. But private capital only invests where they feel the return adequately compensates for the risks.

Read more about: Distorting commercial debt markets vs. attracting private investment

Dilemmas we face

How should you respond when shares switch into questionable hands?  

In the aftermath of the failed Turkish coup d’état in 2016, a shareholder of one of our clients, allegedly a Gülen supporter, was imprisoned and forced to sell his shares to a businessman supported by the regime.

Read more about: How should you respond when shares switch into questionable hands?  

Where we invest

Total committed portfolio €10.4 billion

Note: committed portfolio consists of €9.1 billion for FMO and €1.3 billion for government funds

A partnership to promote sustainable banking

At the turn of the century, international commercial investors and development financial institutions considered breaking into the Nigerian financial sector.

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India: a pivotal role in achieving the SDGs

Home to nearly 1.4 billion people and the world’s largest democracy, India has enormous potential as a marketplace for entrepreneurs. It is a country bursting with opportunities, optimism and innovation.

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2X Challenge: Mobilizing the world’s great untapped resource

In May 2019, FMO joined the 2X Challenge. Launched by the Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) of the G7 in 2018, the 2X Challenge calls for DFIs across the world to work together to mobilize US$3 billion in commitments by 2020 to give women in developing markets access to economic participation.

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All-inclusive support for smallholder Nicaraguan coffee producers

At a time when foreign investors are fleeing Nicaragua and local banks are reducing their exposure to coffee in particular, Mercapital continues to support this fragile sector.

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Complex projects | Dealing with multiple dilemmas

In November 2019, the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a critical report concerning one of our investments in Feronia, a palm oil producer for the domestic market in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

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Regenerating a region’s economy and ecology

Ledesma’s importance to the remote region of Jujuy in the north of Argentina can hardly be overstated.

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