British International Investment

Aavas Financiers Limited

South AsiaFinancial services

Aavas is a retail-focused affordable housing company primarily serving low and middle-income borrowers in semi-urban and rural areas.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

We invested in Aavas in the form of an rupee-denominated bond to focus on regions with limited penetration of formal financial institutions for home loans.

This includes a social bond programme to help increase women’s access to finance and encourage ownership of properties in India. Our lending is specifically targeted towards increasing and promoting availability of finance for properties that must have women on the title-deed.

Access to housing and ownership of property can have strong positive impact on safety, dignity, improved livelihoods, and better economic outcomes.

This investment also qualifies under the 2X challenge, an initiative launched by the development finance institutions (DFIs) of the G7 to mobilise capital to support increased economic empowerment for women in emerging economies.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.



Increased wellbeing and/or improved resilience by enabling increased access to financial services for women, specifically with regards to ownership and control over forms of property (SDG 5a).



We are providing support to Aavas in the form of a social bond, which will target financing toward women. This will enable Aavas to exclusively target sole or joint women owners of property. It will allow Aavas to increase lending to its women customer-base, enabling them to gain greater access to finance which will facilitate ownership of properties by women.


Stakeholder Geography Characteristics


Borrowers tend to be self-employed, in rural geographies of the company's key states of operations. Aavas' customer segment primarily comprises economically weaker segments and low-income individuals. A significant portion of borrowers are also new to credit.

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

The facility is expected to double the size of the gender portfolio of Aavas during the tenor of the facility.

Impact is expected to be deeper for the segment of the customers that are economically weaker and new to credit.


  • Financial additionality: Capital is not offered on the same terms. The company may not be able to access the equivalent amount of capital explicitly channelled to female sole/joint property-owners, without BII.
  • Value additionality: The obligations under the facility require the company to use its technological capability to put the appropriate reporting, monitoring and governance requirements in place around the women-owned portfolio. This would be a first attempt at gender disaggregated data. BII s gender team involvement will provide Arrow with support on further streamlining its products to address women as clients, with specialised offerings


Execution Risk
  • Insufficient growth in Aavas' loan portfolio
Unexpected Impact Risk
  • Customer protection risk when reaching economically weaker sections or new to credit clients.

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

We have agreed an ESAP and are working closely with the company to develop and implement an ESMS, with an increased focus on its on lending to Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    January 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.


    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).


    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    South Asia

    The countries from which we derive the value of our investment. Where value is derived from multiple countries, this is indicated.


    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    Financial services

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Start date :
    December 2018
    Amount :
    Currency of investment :

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.


Related investments made by BII into this company:

Investment name Commitment Region Sector Start date Status
Investment 02 $48.25m South Asia Financial services February 2022 Active

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