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Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) was formed in 2001 to fund development projects in emerging countries. It began as a 50-50 joint venture between the Government of Belgium and the Belgian Corporation for International Investment (SBI-BMI). In 2014, the Belgian State acquired full shareholdership of BIO. BIO joined the Association of bilateral European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI) in 2002.
BIO came thirteenth in the non-sovereign assessment with 25.1 out of 100. BIO’s overall performance was negatively affected due to the fact that it does not disclose a bulk download export of investment data and does not publish to the IATI Standard.
BIO came thirteenth in the Core Information component, with 7.21 out of 20. It scored for fourteen out of the seventeen indicators. It failed to score for status, funding source, and E&S risk category. BIO lost points for format of publication as it does not make data available in a bulk download format and is not an IATI publisher. It is the only bilateral DFI to score points for publishing the sub-sector of its investments.
BIO came fifteenth in the Impact Management component with a score of 5.5 out of 25. It received all of these points from organisation-level indicators. It did not score for its approach to measuring impact nor attribution, but did score for disclosing evaluations. It did not receive any points for project-level indicators.
BIO came twelfth in the ESG and Accountability to Communities component, scoring 9.67 out of 30. BIO scored full points for E&S community disclosure policy as applies the IFC Performance Standards. BIO has an independent accountability mechanism (IAM) but does not publish results, responses or findings in a registry. It only scored 1 out of 15 for project-level indicators, which was for disclosing the availability of its IAM on project pages, it did not publish for any other project-level indicators.
BIO came seventh in the Financial Information component, with 1.5 out of 15. It only disclosed concessionality on a consistent basis (which was found using the ‘subsidy’ filter on its database). It was the only DFI not to score for financial reports/statements as there was no indication that published reports were audited.
BIO scored 1.25 out of 10 in the Financial Intermediary (FI) Sub-investments component, which was joint second-last. Although it scored points for its policy to disclose private equity fund sub-investments, it did not score points for disclosure as this was not done consistently enough.
- BIO should become an IATI publisher and disclose all investments to the IATI Standard.
- It should make its data available in a bulk download format to improve useability and accessibility.
- It should disclose all other Core Information indicators including status, disbursement, date of activity disclosure, approval date, and last update date. It should consistently disclose the sub-national location, total investment cost, funding source, and E&S risk category.
- BIO should review its disclosure policy according to current best practice.
- BIO can improve its score by publishing its approach to impact measurement and impact attribution, sector/country strategies, audited financial reports/statements, and an explanation of project risk E&S categorisation.
- It should disclose Impact Management indicators, including additionality statement, activity indicators/metrics, and results.
- BIO should disclose project-level ESG and Accountability to Communities indicators, summaries of E&S risks at a minimum.
- It should develop an early disclosure policy covering, at a minimum, high risk projects and disclose investments in line with the policy.
- It should create a policy guiding the disclosure of the presence of the IAM at community level.
- It should provide assurance of community disclosure for investments when disclosure is required.
- It should disclose Financial Information indicators including currency of investment and mobilisation and consistently disclose repeat investment and co-financing details.
- BIO should consistently disclose the sub-investments of private equity funds in line with its policy.
- BIO should disclose qualifying bank sub-investments in line with Publish What You Fund’s DFI Transparency Tool.