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Bavaria Opportunities: Microcredit, is consolidated as a tool for the progress of grocers in Bucaramanga (Translation)

27 May 2010

Bogotá, May 20th, 2010.  Bavaria, the leading beverage company in Colombia, in alliance with Financiera Comultrasán, announced today the implementation, for the entire metropolitan area of Bucaramanga, of the "Bavaria Opportunities" programme, a social investment initiative which seeks to strengthen the business units of grocer communities in order to ease conditions, allowing development and progress, as well as improving the quality of life of families through microcredit and personalised advice. On this occasion, the total amount of the programme is $2.4 billion pesos, a sum which is expected to benefit 2,500 grocers from socioeconomic strata 1, 2 and 3 each year, for three years.

After a successful pilot test implemented over the past year in the Comuna Uno of Bucaramanga, and for which close to 191 million pesos were invested through 122 granted credits, the brewer decided to continue with the programme and thus strengthen the business units of the city's grocers - many of them micro-entrepreneurs - giving dynamism to local economies and promoting an entrepreneurial spirit to communities.

Sonia Luz Florez, one of the grocers from the Café Madrid community who benefited during this pilot plan, said about it: "This microcredit changed my life. I now have a savings base with which I plan to raise my children. I have only words of appreciation for Bavaria and Comultrasán for this programme which gave me once more the hope of a brighter future after so many hardships".

"Bavaria Opportunities" offers a unique line of microcredit operated by Comultrasán Financial, geared towards strengthening business units, whose money can be used to finance a debt, stock purchases, product acquisition, payment to suppliers and direct investment. To have access to this line of credit - which goes from a minimum of $360,000 pesos up to a maximum of $12,875,000 pesos - grocers must have an accredited establishment with minimum one year of operation and sign a commitment not to sell alcohol to minors.

Fernando Jaramillo Giraldo, Bavaria's vice-president of corporate Affairs said, "Through ‘Bavaria Opportunities' we want to foster day-to-day entrepreneurship, that which provides self-employment and to improve the quality of life for the 48% of this country's families which are estimated to live below the poverty line. We also want to help grocers to be rid of the so-called ‘drop by drop' credit which charges interest rates of up to 20% a day, so they can thus generate savings which can be invested in their businesses, their families and their communities".

Microcredit is a social tool focused on entrepreneurs, and which has a clear purpose: offer access to loans under favourable conditions, seated on a trust-based economic relationship. Its implementation in Colombia and worldwide has been a success as a means to fight poverty. In fact, a study carried out by the World Bank over fourteen years demonstrated that 40% of the total poverty reduction in Bangladesh was directly attributed to micro-finances.

Bavaria S. A. is the largest beverage company of Colombia. Its brands Águila, Águila Light, Club Colombia, Cola & Pola, Costeña, Costeñita, Peroni, Pilsen, Póker, Redd's and Pony Malta are leaders in their respective beverage categories in Colombia.

For additional information please contact:
COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
Juan David Lee Aguirre

- Juan.Lee@bav.sabmiller.com

Phone +57-1-638 9290

- Bogotá, D.C.

BAVARIA S.A.
www.bavaria.com.co 

This SABMiller subsidiary news release has been translated from its local market language to English language for publication on www.sabmiller.com. We have attempted to provide an accu-rate translation of the original material but due to the difficulties of translation slight differences may exist. 
 
Note, the news release was first published in its local market on [20/05/2010].
 

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