MICROFINANCE EVENT: Ethico Live! Presents Finnovation Africa 2017: A Powerful Purpose; April 7, 2017; Kampala, Uganda

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.

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Quona Capital Management Raises $141m for Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund

Quona Capital Management, an investment fund based in the US state of Washington, recently announced that it had raised USD 141 million from investors for Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund (AFIF), a fund backed by the US-based non-profit Accion and managed by Quona Capital. Funds were contributed by US-based corporate investors including JP Morgan Chase & Co., Mastercard, AXA Impact Fund, Prudential Financial Continue reading

SPECIAL REPORT: The Mergers & Acquisitions Market in Africa’s Alternative Finance Sector

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

MICROFINANCE EVENT: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD) Present Impact Investment for Development Summit 2017; March 21-23; Yerevan, Armenia

Event Name: Impact Investment for Development Summit 2017

Event Date: March 21-23, 2017

Event Location: Yerevan, Armenia

Cost: Not Available

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: The two-day summit invites professionals to discuss sustainable development financing methods. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Ghana Introduces New Business Regulations, Sanctions to Improve Governance of Microfinance Sector

The Bank of Ghana (BoG), the financial regulator of the country, recently introduced a new set of business regulations and sanctions in order to more effectively regulate the microfinance sector. The new regulations will require MFIs to monitor and report on their operations and newly imposed fines will apply Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Scott Brown Stepping Down as CEO of VisionFund International

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

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Whole Foods Market’s Whole Planet Foundation Raises $2.2m to Support Microfinance Institution Partnerships in 11 Countries, Including Expanding Work with Grameen America to New York, Miami

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

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: TriLinc Approves $36.8m in Term Loans, Trade Finance for SMEs in Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia

TriLinc Global Impact Fund (TriLinc) recently announced that it has approved USD 36.8 million to fund term loans and trade finance transactions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that operate in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. The term loans will be disbursed to 10 different companies Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Impact Investing Conference: Addressing Climate Change and Social Development; April 26, 2017; Kirchberg, Luxembourg

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

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institution ASA Philippines to Issue $40m in Bonds to Expand Lending for MSMEs

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

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Making Cents International Presents 2017 Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit; September 27-29; Arlington, Virginia, USA

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

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SPECIAL REPORT: Raising Funds for Non-bank Financial Institutions in Africa

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

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indonesian Government Seeks to Shift KUR Microlending to Agriculture, Fisheries, Manufacturing from Trading, Services

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

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: C-Quadrat’s Dual Return Vision Microfinance Funds Loan $18m in Eurasia, Latin America, Zambia

C-Quadrat Asset Management, an arm of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, recently informed MicroCapital that its Dual Return Vision Microfinance and Dual Return Vision Microfinance-Local Currency funds loaned a total approximately equivalent to USD 17.5 million to unidentified providers of financial services in Cambodia, Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Palestine Monetary Authority Puts Credit Reports Online for Microfinance Institutions, Banks

The Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA), with assistance from Ramallah-based Al-Andalus Software Development, recently released a “credit reports handling system” that allows financial institutions to access to individual’s credit histories electronically. Previously, credit report requests had to be filed in person Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tigo Rwanda Launches TigoNshoboza Mobile Microloans on Pilot Basis

Tigo Rwanda Limited, a unit of Sweden’s Millicom that offers mobile telecommunications services, recently announced it has launched its TigoNshoboza Loan Service, which allows users of the Tigo Cash service in Rwanda to access loans via their mobile wallets. TigoNshoboza is in a pilot phase, so the number Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: After Launch in Tanzania, Ecobank Mobile App Available in 33 African Countries

Ecobank Tanzania, a unit of Togo-based Ecobank Group, recently announced its launch of the Ecobank Mobile App, which allows customers to use mobile devices to perform fund transfers, top-up airtime, pay bills, check forex rates, view account statements, make retail payments, and interface with payment cards and checks. Continue reading