MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFAD, OPEC Fund for International Development Lend $36m to Support Infrastructure and Rural Financial Support Programme in Armenia

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), an agency of the United Nations that aims to alleviate poverty, has agreed to lend USD 11 million to the Republic of Armenia for a “Infrastructure and Rural Finance Support Programme,” a USD 52.8 million initiative that aims to create sustainable employment opportunities and higher incomes for people in “the business, financial and agricultural sectors” of the Armenian economy [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FairTrade Access Fund (FAF) Issues Trade Finance Loan worth $931k to Ecookim of Cote D’Ivoire

FairTrade Access Fund (FAF), an affiliate of German NGO Fairtrade International that provides loans to farmers in developing countries, recently announced that it has issued a trade finance loan of EUR 750,000 (USD 931,000) to Ecookim, a union of cooperatives based in Cote d’Ivoire, to support the purchase of cocoa beans from 3,700 local suppliers in Central and Western Cote d’Ivoire. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX) Launches Impact Accelerator in Philippines to Provide Financial, Operational Support to Early-Stage Social Enterprises

Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX), a Singapore-based for-profit company that provides capital to social enterprises (SEs), recently launched an Impact Accelerator program in the Philippines that will provide four early-stage SEs with seed capital and tailored mentorship and advisory services in an effort to decrease the time needed for the businesses to launch. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Financial Organization (IFC) to Loan $30m to Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) of Philippines to Fund Small, Medium-sized Enterprises; Women-led Businesses

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that offers financial services to businesses and governments in developing countries with the aim of increasing economic growth, recently announced that it has approved a “medium-term loan”[1] of up to USD 30 million to the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), a commercial bank in the Philippines. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Investment Bank (EIB) Loans $24.8m to Cooperative Rural Development Bank (CRDB) of Tanzania, Announces $6.2m for Technical Assistance Programmes in East Africa

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending bank of the European Union, recently announced that it will issue a loan worth EUR 20 million (USD 24.8 million) to the Cooperative Rural Development Bank (CRDB), a commercial bank in Tanzania, to support small businesses in the agriculture, manufacturing and retail sectors in Tanzania. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Investment Bank (EIB) Lends $16.4m to Housing Finance Bank (HFB) to Support Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Uganda

The European Investment Bank (EIB), a European Union-sponsored development bank, recently agreed to provide a credit line worth UGX 45 billion (USD 16.4 million) to the Housing Finance Bank (HFB), a Ugandan commercial bank, for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises in Uganda. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Expected to Loan $5m in Local Currency to Imon International of Tajikistan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral institution that finances development projects around the world, is expected to issue a fou-year, senior loan worth the local-currency equivalent of USD 5 million to Imon International, a microfinance institution based in Tajikistan, to increase its lending small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Lok Capital of Mauritius to Raise $100m for Third Fund, First Round to Close by April 2015

Lok Capital, a Mauritius-based venture capital fund that focuses on microfinance and other social businesses in India, reportedly is seeking to raise USD 100 million for a new fund that will focus on financial inclusion as its key priority, with agriculture and energy as secondary areas of interest [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: US Agency for International Development (USAID) to Provide $71m to Government of India for Banking, Clean Energy, Water and Sanitation

The US Agency for International Development (USAID), a government agency that provides international economic and humanitarian assistance, recently committed up to USD 71 million to the Government of India to support the country’s banking, clean energy and water and sanitation sectors. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Investment Bank (EIB) to Loan $31m to AccessBank Azerbaijan for On-lending to Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

The Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB), the long-term lending bank of the European Union (EU), recently announced that it is extending an intermediated senior loan totaling EUR 25 million (USD 31 million) to AccessBank Azerbaijan, a microfinance bank (MFB) in Azerbaijan, for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Global Systems for Mobile Association (GSMA) Launches Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers

The Global Systems for Mobile Association (GSMA), a UK-based association of 1,000 mobile operators and associated companies, recently launched a “Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers” to provide guidance on best practices for its members. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Thailand (BOT) to Aid Non-Bank Lenders in Providing “Nano-Loans” of $3040 to $3650

The Bank of Thailand (BOT), the country’s central bank, recently announced that it will introduce a “nano-financing” scheme to enhance the ability of non-bank lenders to provide “nano-loans” that range from THB 100,000 (USD 3040) to THB 120,000 (USD 3650) and carry an annual interest rate of 30 to 36 percent. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Considers $200m Loan to Establish Network for On-lending to Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Kazakhstan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral financial institution, recently announced that it is in the final stage of consideration for the establishment of a “Kazakhstan MSME Framework,” a credit facility totaling KZT 36 billion (USD 200 million) for on-lending to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. Continue reading

SPECIAL REPORT: Youth Are Less Risky Borrowers? European Microfinance Week Participants on Serving Young People via Leasing, Peer Education, Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs)

Countering the perception that youth are riskier borrowers than older clients, Maria Perdermo, the manager of the UN Capital Development Fund’s YouthStart program, recently presented data from seven African microfinance institutions (MFIs) showing that all but one have lower rates of portfolio at risk (PAR) within the segments of their portfolios serving youth than organization-wide. Nonetheless, she noted, youth often make up a disproportionately small share of an MFI’s customer base because loan officers believe they are less likely than others to repay, which would threaten the bonus that many loan officers receive when more of their clients do repay their loans. Continue reading