MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Doing Digital Finance Right: The Case for Stronger Mitigation of Customer Risks”

“Doing Digital Finance Right: The Case for Stronger Mitigation of Customer Risks;” by Katherine McKee, Michelle Kaffenberger, Jamie Zimmerman; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); June 2015; 40 pages; available at: http://www.cgap.org/publications/doing-digital-finance-right

Digital financial services (DFS), which allow the use of cellular devices to make and receive payments without travelling to a brick-and-mortar bank branch, are believed by some to be a pathway toward financial inclusion for low-income people. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Loans $10m to Paraguay’s Vision Banco to Fund Water, Sanitation Facilities for Low-Income Populations

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a US-based multilateral finance institution that operates in Latin America and the Caribbean, recently approved a loan of USD 10 million to Vision Banco, a microfinance institution (MFI) in Paraguay. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: Symbiotics 2015 Microfinance Investment Vehicles (MIV) Survey Report: Market Data and Peer Group Analysis

“Symbiotics 2015 Microfinance Investment Vehicles (MIV) Survey Report: Market Data and Peer Group Analysis;” published by the Symbiotics Group; 2015; 45 pages; available at http://www.syminvest.com/papers/ed4710d3-cd20-4366-ad75-095f2b3adffe

Symbiotics, a Switzerland-based investment company that is “specialized in emerging, sustainable and inclusive finance,” recently published its ninth annual microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs) survey based on indicators reported by MIVs for 2014. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) to Host European Microfinance Week 2015, November 18-20, 2015, Abbaye de Neumunster, Luxembourg

Event Name: European Microfinance Week 2015

Event Dates: November 18-20, 2015

Event Location: Abbaye de Neumunster, Luxembourg Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Japan’s Orix Corporation Acquires Additional 6% Equity in Cambodia’s Acleda Bank

Orix Corporation, a financial services provider based in Tokyo, Japan, recently announced that it has acquired a 6.25-percent equity stake in Acleda Bank, a commercial bank headquartered in Phnom Penh, Cambodia that provides deposits and microcredit in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

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SPECIAL REPORT: e-MFP Announces Finalists for $112k Sixth European Microfinance Award in Post-Disaster, Post-Conflict Areas & Fragile States: Crédit Rural de Guinée of Guinea, First Microfinance Institution of Syria, Taytay Sa Kauswagan of the Philippines

The European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), a Luxembourg-based network of approximately 120 microfinance individuals and organizations, has announced that there are three finalists for the Sixth European Microfinance Award, which is themed “Microfinance in Post-Disaster, Post-Conflict Areas & Fragile States” for 2015 [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Perhimpunan Baitul Maal wat Tamwil Indonesia Implements Islamic Financial Empowerment Program Including Grants, Subsidized Loans, Market-Rate Credit

Perhimpunan Baitul Maal wat Tamwil (BMT) Indonesia, a financial cooperative coordinating 150 of Indonesia’s microfinance institutions that employ the BMT model of Islamic finance, has implemented a three-stage financial empowerment program that aims to benefit low-income individuals in the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Loans $13m to Krygyzstan’s Optima Bank for On-lending to Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral investment institution headquarted in London, England, recently announced that it will loan the local-currency equivalent of USD 13 million to Optima Bank, a commercial bank headquartered in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC to Advise Government of Myanmar on Regulation; Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs); Financial Inclusion; Microfinance

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that aims to increase economic growth in developing countries, recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Commerce of Myanmar. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), MasterCard Partner to Build Inclusive Payment Systems in Low-Income Economies

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a United Nations (UN) organization that engages in “sustainable management”[1] of natural resources and works toward the eradication of hunger, and MasterCard, a US-based payments and technology company, recently formed a partnership to create “inclusive payment systems”[2] to support small-scale farmers and low-income households in developing countries. Continue reading

SPECIAL REPORT: On “Microfinance in Crisis,” an Interview with Edvardas Bumsteinas of the European Investment Bank, Host of the European Microfinance Award Ceremony

MicroCapital: Please tell us a bit about how you to came to work in microfinance.

Edvardas Bumsteinas: My interest in microfinance began with a summer job some 20 years ago when I was a student at the London School of Economics. At the request of Lithuania’s Open Society Institute, I spent one of my summers helping to set up external financing facilities for the Lithuanian Credit Union’s network. During my meetings with staff members and clients, I was impressed with positive results that those member-owned financial institutions were having in their communities.

MC: In reading about the European Investment Bank (EIB)-funded Microfinance in Crisis project, I was struck by the language “The main thing is to make the system user-centric, not provider-centric, and to consider microfinance (and more broadly finance) as a common good.” Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Deutsche Bank Raises $100m for Microfinance Investment Vehicle European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE)

Deutsche Bank, a Germany-based financial services company, recently announced that it had raised USD 100 million from unspecified private investors for the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Thailand’s JMT Network Services Establishes JP Finance Co Ltd to Offer Microfinance in Myanmar

JMT Network Services Public Company Limited, a debt collector and loan provider in Thailand under Jay Mart Public Company Limited, recently announced that the organization and unnamed partners aim to establish a joint venture, JP Finance Co Ltd. Continue reading