Italy’s MicroFinanza Rating recently certified two Moroccan microfinance institutions (MFIs), al Amana and Attawfiq Micro-Finance, as operating within the Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Principles. With a third institution, Tamwil El Fellah (TEF), having received certification in 2016, 64 percent of Continue reading
“The Africa and Middle East Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report”; by The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) and Energy4Impact; published by CCAF; February 2017; 64 pages; available at https://www.scribd.com/document/338995486/CCAF-Africa-and-Middle-East-Alternative-Finance-Report-2017#download&from_embed/
This report focuses on assessing the types and prevalence of alternative financing in Africa and the Middle East. Continue reading
The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a microfinance investment vehicle led by German development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), recently announced that it has provided an additional senior loan to QNB Finansbank, a Turkey-based commercial bank, in the amount of USD 20 million. QNB plans to use the funds to expand its agricultural lending in rural Turkey. In support of the transaction, EFSE is offering QNB Continue reading
Mastercard, a US-based technology and payments company; and Unilever, a UK-based supplier of consumer goods, recently announced that they will develop a partnership to provide access to digital technologies to small-scale entrepreneurs in developing countries with the aim of helping them buy supplies and sell goods more efficiently. The partnership’s first project will be to spread the use of Mastercard’s digital payment platforms via Continue reading
Event Name: Finnovation Africa 2017: A Powerful Purpose
Event Date: April 7, 2017
Event Location: Sheraton Kampala Hotel, Kampala, Uganda
Cost: The fee to attend is USD 1,000.
Conference Organizers: The conference is organized by Ethico Live!, an organization that arranges events related to the financial services sector including banking, investment and insurance. Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSD Uganda), a nonprofit organization that advocates innovation, conducts research and implements policy in Uganda; and the Department for International Development (DfID), a unit of the UK government, are also partnering to produce the event.
Summary of Event: Finnovation Africa 2017 seeks to gather stakeholders of the African financial technology (fintech) “value chain” Continue reading
Quona Capital Management, which is based in the US city of Washington, recently announced that it has raised USD 141 million from multiple investors for the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund (AFIF), a fund backed by the US-based nonprofit Accion and managed by Quona Capital. The participating funders are US-based corporates including JP Morgan Chase & Co., MasterCard, Prudential Financial Continue reading
Headlines in the M&A market in Africa in recent years seem to have been dominated by the to-ing and fro-ing of Anglo-South African giants such as Barclays Africa/ABSA and Old Mutual. However, financial institutions in the middle market perhaps have been more active. The M&A market in the alternative finance sector (non-bank or “specialty” lenders) has seen at least 30 transactions (excluding minority stakes) completed over the last five years, and activity levels have remained robust over the last 18 months notwithstanding the slow-down of the M&A market overall.
The alternative finance sector covers a range of credit institutions that are not part of the traditional banking sector, for example, micro (enterprise) finance, consumer finance, leasing or invoice discounting, vehicle lending, housing finance, student finance, fintech, and specialist banks. Continue reading
Event Name: Impact Investment for Development Summit 2017
Event Date: March 21-23, 2017
Event Location: Yerevan, Armenia
Conference Organizers: The conference is jointly organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD). TEDxYerevan, Impact Hub Yerevan, European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA), Impact Alpha and @lliance serve as organizing partners.
Summary of Event: This summit will cover “sustainable” development financing methods with the goal of Continue reading
The Bank of Ghana (BoG), the financial regulator of the country, is introducing a logo that microfinance institutions (MFIs) can display to help consumers “distinguish between credible, licensed microfinance institutions and unlicensed ones.” BoG also is requiring MFIs to monitor Continue reading
VisionFund International, a UK-based nonprofit with microfinance operations in approximately 30 countries, recently informed MicroCapital that its President and CEO Scott Brown will be leaving the organization at the end of Continue reading
The Whole Planet Foundation, an affiliate of US-based grocer Whole Foods Market, announced it has secured donations of USD 2.2 million (as of March 17) towards its goal of raising USD 3.2 million by the end of March 2017 to grant for microlending through Continue reading
TriLinc Global Impact Fund (TriLinc) recently announced that it has approved the disbursal of USD 36.8 million to fund term loans and trade finance transactions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The term loans will be disbursed to 10 different companies Continue reading
Event Name: Impact Investing Conference
Event Date: April 26, 2017
Event Location: Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Kirchberg, Luxembourg
Event Organizers: Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI) will organize the event in partnership with Luxembourg Finance Labelling Agency (LuxFLAG), European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) and Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN).
Cost: The fee to attend is EUR 400 (USD 427) with a discount of EUR 50 (USD 53) available for members of ALFI, LuxFLAG, e-MFP and GIIN. Additional discounts of EUR 100 (USD 107) and EUR 50 (USD 53) are offered to those registering by March 17 and April 13, respectively.
Summary: This conference will focus on issues including how impact investing supports climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, the role impact investing is playing in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the growth of impact investing in general. Continue reading
ASA Philippines, a microfinance NGO, recently announced it will issue PHP 2 billion (USD 40 million) in bonds to fund new and existing projects through 2021. One of these is lending to women entrepreneurs in amounts from PHP 6,000 (USD 119) to PHP 10,000 (USD 199) with a flat interest rate of 15 percent for six months. Continue reading
Event Name: Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit 2017
Event Date: September 27 – September 29, 2017
Event Location: Marriott Crystal Gateway, Arlington, Virginia, USA
Cost: The fee to attend is USD 895 with a discount of USD 100 offered until July 14. A rate of USD 495 is offered to participants traveling from developing countries and for all attendees under age 30.
Summary of Event: The theme of this year’s event is “The Future of Work: Youth Economic Opportunity in a Changing World,” and it will address issues such as the diminishing role of Continue reading
The non-bank financial institution (NBFI) sector, often referred to as the alternative finance sector or the shadow banking sector, around the world is largely dependent on the institutional market for funding. By regulation, NBFIs in most markets are prohibited from gathering deposits or restricted from transactional banking services, which are critical to attract deposits. In most markets, banks themselves are reluctant to lend to NBFIs, given the potential long-term competitive threat. For example, Capitec of South Africa and Equity Bank of Kenya, which are now very much fully-fledged banks, have roots as NBFIs. In South Africa, the deepest and broadest market in Africa, NBFIs have been largely focused on borrowing from the domestic market.
This is not without risks given, for example, the significant reversal in domestic investor sentiment following the collapse of African Bank in August 2014. African Bank’s largest peer, Capitec, was less affected because Continue reading
The Indonesian government recently announced it plans to grow the portion of its Kredit Usaha Rakyat (KUR) program that is used for agriculture, fishing and manufacturing from 22 percent of the program total to 40 percent. The remainder of KUR lending is for trading and services. Continue reading