MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Alibaba’s Ant Financial Raises $4.5b from Investors Including China Life, China Post Group, China Development Bank Capital, Primavera Capital Group to Expand Services in Rural areas

Ant Financial Services Group, an online lender affiliated with Alibaba Group Holdings Limited, a Chinese e-commerce company, recently completed a Series B equity raise of USD 4.5 billion. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: June 1 is Deadline for $114k European Microfinance Award: “Microfinance and Access to Education”

June 1 is the deadline to apply for the seventh European Microfinance Award, which is themed “Microfinance and Access to Education” and includes the opportunity to win EUR 100,000 (approximately USD 114,000). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tanzania’s National Microfinance Bank (NMB) Selling $9m in Bonds for On-lending

The National Microfinance Bank (NMB), an institution backed by the government of Tanzania, recently began offering retail bonds in amounts starting at TZS 500,000 (USD 228) with a 13 percent interest rate per annum. The bond issuance, which has been approved by the country’s Capital Markets and Securities Authority (CMSA), will remain open until June 8, 2016. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MoneyGram, Millicom’s Tigo Money Launch Mobile Cash Service in El Salvador

MoneyGram International, a US-based money transfer company, recently partnered with Tigo Money, the primary product of the Sweden-based telecommunications company Millicom, to “launch mobile cash receiv[ing] services into more than 1 million Tigo Money mobile wallets in El Salvador.” Tigo Money is available in 17 countries in Africa and Latin America, providing mobile money services such as bill payment, money transfer, mobile phone credit top up and merchant payments. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC Invests $25m in Debt in First National Bank Zambia, Primarily For Agricultural SMEs

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, recently loaned USD 25 million to First National Bank Zambia (FNB Zambia), a subsidiary of FirstRand Group South Africa. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: “Act For Impact” Child and Youth Finance International Summit and Strategy Launch, June 28-29, 2016, Bucharest, Romania

Event Name: Act for Impact – Fourth Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) Summit and Strategy Launch

Event Dates: June 28-29, 2016

Event Location: Bucharest, Romania Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC Invests $7.5m in Debt, Equity in Microfinance Institution Maha Agriculture of Myanmar

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, recently invested USD 6 million in debt and USD 1.5 million in equity in Maha Agriculture Public Company Limited, a microfinance subsidiary of Myanma Awba Group <http://www.awba-group.com/>, an agrochemical fertilizer company in Myanmar. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Switzerland’s SECO Donates $5m to EBRD for Small Businesses in Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan

The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) recently contributed USD 5.1 million to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD’s) Small Business Initiative to support “infrastructure, enterprise and financial sector development, climate change mitigation through energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives, and the sustainable use of natural resources” [1]. EBRD provides loans, debt securities, equity investments, guarantees and technical assistance to micro- and small businesses primary via commercial banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs). SECO has donated a total of USD 189 million to EBRD from 1992 through 2016. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Updates Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS)

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the effectiveness of investments intended to solve social and environmental problems, recently announced it launched an updated version of the Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS), a free tool intended to support the transparency, credibility and accountability of impact measurement. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Janalakshmi Sells $7.5m in Securitized Microloans to Government-backed MUDRA, Arranged by IFMR Capital

IFMR Capital, an affiliate of the Chennai-based nonprofit Institute of Financial Management and Research (IFMR), recently structured the first capital market transaction for the Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency (MUDRA) Bank, an Indian public-sector financial institution that provides subsidized loans and other services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and non-banking financial institutions (NBFCs). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank, Rabobank Foundation Seek to Replicate Albanian Cooperative Financial Institutions Consolidation of Agricultural Cooperatives in Albania

The World Bank, member of US-based multilateral World Bank Group, and the Rabobank Foundation, the “social fund” of the Dutch bank Rabobank, recently teamed up to consolidate agricultural cooperative financial institutions (CFIs), organizations set up by farmers to gain access to financing. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: PPAF, Karandaaz, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) Establish Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC)

The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), a government-backed entity that supports the Pakistani microfinance industry; Karandaaz Pakistan, a Pakistan-based private sector company funded by the UK government; and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), a German development bank, recently signed a shareholders’ agreement to set up the Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FSD Africa, SEEP Network to Fund Research on Savings Groups

The Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa, a Kenya-based nonprofit intended to reduce poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, and the Small Enterprise Education and Promotion (SEEP) Network, a US-based network of approximately 124 microenterprise practitioners representing 170 countries, recently partnered to conduct research on the effectiveness of savings groups, “in which members provide their own savings and credit services at a negligible cost, while retaining earnings and capital in their own communities” [2]. FSD Africa plans to donate USD 2.5 million over four years to expand the SEEP Network’s research on these groups. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Canadian Government Appoints Développement international Desjardins (DiD) to Run FARM (Agricultural and Rural Financing) in Mali Project

The Canadian government recently appointed Développement international Desjardins (DiD), a nonprofit supporting the community finance sector in emerging economies, to run the Agricultural and Rural Financing in Mali Project, which is also known by its French acronym FARM.  Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Improving Financial Capability in India, Mexico; Mobile Money Usage; Post-Disaster, Post-Conflict Microfinance

A Change in Behavior: Innovations in Financial Capability;” by J. Arnold, E. Rhyne; published by the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion, JPMorgan Chase & Co; April 2016; 47 pages; available at: https://centerforfinancialinclusionblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/a-change-in-behavior-final.pdf Continue reading