MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Acquires Minority Stake in Brazilian Insurer Austral Participações for $36m to Support Sectors such as Agriculture

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the US-based World Bank Group, recently announced that it has invested BRL 80 million (USD 36 million) to acquire a minority stake in the Brazilian firm Austral Participações, whose holdings include Austral Seguradora, an insurance company focusing on the oil, engineering and surety markets; and Austral Resseguradora (Austral Re), a reinsurance company. Continue reading

 MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Commits $5m to Belarusian Minsk Transit Bank (MTB) for Onlending to Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral financial institution that finances companies in countries that are transitioning to open market economies, recently agreed to commit a local-currency,  senior loan worth up to USD 5 million to Minsk Transit Bank (MTB), a government-backed bank that provides loans to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Belarus.

The purpose of the loan is to allow MTB to increase its lending portfolio to MSMEs while lessening foreign exchange risk for both MTB and its clients. Mr Francis Delaey, EBRD’s Head of Office in Belarus, stated that “with this project we are not only providing loans with longer maturities to domestic small businesses but also promoting lending in local currency, which is another important objective for us in Belarus.”

As of the most recent data given on December 31, 2011, MTB reported total assets of BYR 1.8 trillion (USD 212 million). As of September 1, 2014, EBRD has committed USD 1.81 billion across 66 projects in Belarus. EBRD invested USD 11.4 billion in 392 projects across 34 countries in 2013.

By Emily Teleposky, Research Associate

About European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD):
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is a multilateral financial institution headquartered in London, England. The bank began operations in 1991 upon the agreement of 40 countries, and it is owned by 64 countries as well as the European Investment Bank and the European Union as of 2014. It aims to finance operations that are both commercially viable and assist development in Central Asia, Eastern Europe and North Africa. It does this by providing loans, debt securities, equity investments, guarantees and technical assistance to micro- and small businesses via commercial banks and non-bank microfinance institutions (MFIs). With total assets of EUR 49 billion (USD 65 billion), EBRD invested EUR 8.5 billion (USD 11.4 billion) in 392 projects in 34 countries during 2013.

About Minsk Transit Bank (MTB):
Founded in 1994, Minsk Transit Bank (MTB) is a commercial bank that offers financial services for individual and corporate customers in the Belarus Republic. It also registers rights for governmental and corporate security offerings. As of December 31, 2011, MTB reported total assets of BYR 1.8 trillion (USD 212 million).

Additional Sources and Resources:

[1] EBRD Commits New Funds to Support Small Businesses in Belarus http://www.ebrd.com/pages/news/press/2014/140911b.shtml

[2] EBRD: What We Do http://www.ebrd.com/pages/about/what.shtml

[3] MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Considers Syndicating $25m Investment in Minsk Transit Bank (MTB) of Belarus for On-Lending to Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), May 18, 2014, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-european-bank-for-reconstruction-and-development-ebrd-considers-syndicating-25m-investment-in-minsk-transit-bank-mtb-of-belarus-for-on-lending-to-micro-small-medium-sized-e/

[4] MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to Loan $25m to Belvnesheconombank (BelVEB) of Belarus to Support On-lending to Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs), February 2, 2014, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-european-bank-for-reconstruction-and-development-ebrd-to-loan-25m-to-belvnesheconombank-belveb-of-belarus-to-support-on-lending-to-micro-small-medium-sized-enterprises-msm/

[5] MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Lends $10M from Its Microfinance Program to Minsk Transit Bank (MTB) of Belarus, July 3, 2009, http://www.microcapital.org/microfinance-story-the-european-bank-for-reconstruction-and-development-ebrd-lends-10m-from-its-microfinance-program-to-minsk-transit-bank-mtb-of-belarus/

[6] MicroCapital Universe Profile: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=European+Bank+for+Reconstruction+and+Development+%28EBRD%29

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Dutch Development Bank Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappijvoor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO) Loans $20m to Armenia’s Ameriabank

The Dutch development bank Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappijvoor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO) recently agreed to loan USD 20 million to Ameriabank Closed Joint Stock Company (CJSC) (Ameriabank), a commercial bank in Armenia. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Borrowing in Cambodia from Microfinance, Commercial Banks Forecast to Increase by 147% to $14b by 2020

The latest outlook published by the Credit Bureau of Cambodia (CBC), a provider of credit information to organizations and consumers in Cambodia, forecasts that the total number of customers of microfinance institutions (MFIs) and commercial banks will increase from 1.9 million to 3.3 million individuals by 2020 and that these customers will borrow a total of USD 14 billion by that time, up from USD 5.7 billion [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FirstRand Bank Downscaling into Microfinance in Suburban Mumbai, India

Under a pilot project named “Easy Banking,” FirstRand Bank, a commercial bank based in South Africa, is providing financial services to shops and other small businesses in areas of suburban Mumbai, such as Bandra and Lokhandwala, based on the rationale that competition is too fierce in areas with higher population densities. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Lanka Orix Leasing Company (LOLC) of Sri Lanka Pays $20m to Acquire 60% Stake in Thaneakea Phum (Cambodia) from Developing World Markets, TPC Employee Association

Thaneakea Phum (Cambodia) (TPC), a Cambodia-based microfinance institution (MFI), recently informed MicroCapital that Developing World Markets Asset Management (DWM), a US-based investment fund manager, has sold 55-percent equity stake in TPC to LOLC Micro Investments Limited (LOMI), a subsidiary of Sri-Lankan financial services group Lanka Orix Leasing Company (LOLC) [1]. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Does Good Client Protection Impact Financial Performance?”; by B. Perez-Rocha, A.G.F. Hoepner, L. Spaggiari, C. Lapenu and B. Brusky; Published by European Microfinance Platform

“Does Good Client Protection Impact Financial Performance?”; by B. Perez-Rocha, A.G.F. Hoepner, L. Spaggiari, C. Lapenu and B. Brusky in collaboration with the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) Making Microfinance Responsible Action Group; May 2014; 28 pages; available at http://www.e-mfp.eu/sites/default/files/resources/2014/05/Brief_No_4_2014_web.pdf

This paper explores the relationship between the financial performance of microfinance institutions (MFIs) and the Client Protection Principles (CPP) that are promoted by the Smart Campaign, a US-based consumer protection initiative targeting microfinance clients worldwide. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Integrated Health and Microfinance in India, Volume II: The Way Forward;” by Somen Saha, D.S.K. Rao; published by Microcredit Summit Campaign, Freedom from Hunger

“Integrated Health and Microfinance in India, Volume II: The Way Forward;” by Somen Saha and D.S.K. Rao; published by the Microcredit Summit Campaign and Freedom from Hunger; 2014; 36 pages; available at http://microcreditsummit.org/uploads/resource/document/ffh_indiareport_2014_web_58274.pdf

This paper builds on a report entitled “Integrated Health and Microfinance in India: Harnessing the Strengths of Two Sectors to Improve Health and Alleviate Poverty”, which was written in 2012 by a group of authors that includes those who wrote “Volume Two.” Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Philippines-Based Metrobank Foundation to Expand Microfinance, Metrobank Group Donates $456k for Development Projects

The Metrobank Foundation, an arm of Philippine Financial Conglomerate Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (Metrobank Group) recently announced that it plans to expand its microfinance project that is focused on Filipino citizens who work overseas, with particular attention to domestic workers based in Singapore and Hong Kong. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Microinsurance Distribution Channels, Friendship Bridge, MicroVest Impact Reports

“Microinsurance Distribution Channels: Insights for Insurers;” by Alice Merry, Pranav Prashad and Tobias Hoffarth; published by the Microinsurance Innovation Faciltiy as Paper Number 33; International Labour Organization; June 2014; 25 pages; available at http://www.microinsurancefacility.org/sites/default/files/MP33.pdf

The Microinsurance Innovation Facility of the International Labour Organization (ILO), an agency of the United Nations that addresses labour standards and related issues, recently analyzed the distribution channels available to microinsurance providers based on the experiences of 60 of its partner institutions. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Myanmar Investments International Announces Joint Venture with Microfinance Institution (MFI) Myanmar Finance

Myanmar Investments Limited (MIL), a subsidiary of British Virgin Islands-based investment company Myanmar Investments International Limited (MIIL) recently entered into a conditional joint venture agreement with Myanmar Finance Company Limited (MFC), a Myanmar-based microfinance institution (MFI), to create Myanmar Finance International Limited (MFIL), which will be based in Myanmar and provide microfinance services in the country. Continue reading