The €220 billion ($323 billion) Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, Heerlen, Netherlands, and TIAA-CREF are among the lead investors in Catalyst Microfinance Investors, a $125 million private equity fund focusing on projects in Asia and Africa.
ABP committed $25 million, spokesman Thijs Steger confirmed. Funding came from its private equity allocation to alternatives, Mr. Steger added, and the investment brings ABPs exposure to microfinance strategies to $57 million.
TIAA-CREF committed $10 million as part of a strategy targeting a total investment of $100 million in microfinance by 2010, said Scott Budde, managing director and head of global social and community investing. Microfinance is growing to the point that it is presenting a reasonably attractive investment opportunity with broad social appeal, Mr. Budde added.