MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Safaricom, Vodacom Partner to Support Cross-Border Mobile Money Transactions Between Kenya, Tanzania via M-Pesa

Safaricom, a Kenya-based telecommunications company, has partnered with South Africa-based telecommunications firm Vodacom to offer cross-border transactions via M-Pesa, a mobile money service developed by UK-based telecom company Vodafone, which is a majority shareholder in both Safaricom and Vodacom.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CelsiusPro Partners with BlueOrchard to Manage KfW’s Climate Insurance Fund (CIF), World Bank Group to Improve Agricultural Insurance in Ukraine

Swiss microfinance investment manager BlueOrchard and Swiss weather index insurance service provider CelsiusPro recently were appointed as co-managers of the Climate Insurance Fund (CIF), an initiative created by German development bank Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau Entwicklungsbank (KfW) that aims to reduce the vulnerability of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and low-income households to climate change by improving access to and use of insurance. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Acumen, Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, Unilever Partner to Support Smallholder Farmers through Enhanced Livelihoods Investment Initiative (ELII) in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean

The US-based non-profit venture fund Acumen, along with the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, an initiative of US-based Clinton Foundation, and the British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever recently partnered to launch a three-year, minimum USD 10 million Enhanced Livelihoods Investment Initiative (ELII) that aims to boost the economic development of approximately 300,000 smallholder farmers in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Provide $4.1m Risk Sharing Facility to Cameroonian Bank Banque Internationale du Cameroun pour l’Épargne et le Crédit (BICEC) for Agricultural Lending

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently signed an agreement with Banque Internationale du Cameroun pour l’Épargne et le Crédit (BICEC), a Cameroonian Bank, to provide BICEC with a CFA 2.5 billion (USD 4.1 million) “risk sharing facility… to support its lending activities to agriculture cooperatives active in the productions of cassava, maize and sorghum” [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO) Lends $5.4m to Microfinance Institution Mikrofin of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch public-private partnership that aims to promote growth in developing economies, recently signed a senior loan agreement through which it will disburse EUR 5 million (USD 5.4 million) to Mikrofin, a Bosnia and Herzegovina-based microfinance institution. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Mobile Money and Digital Payments Africa Conference and Workshop, May 19-21, 2015, Johannesburg, South Africa

Event Name: Mobile Money and Digital Payments Africa

Event Date: May 19-21, 2015

Event Location: Hyatt Regency Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa

Summary of Event: The aim of the event is to bring together sector stakeholders in an effort to strengthen mobile money payment systems and businesses in Africa. The two conference days will feature panel discussions and debates focused on developing financial services and other mobile products for un- and underbanked people, recent trends in mobile money, challenges in developing cashless payment systems in Africa and methods for leveraging social payments to improve financial service offerings for people left out of the traditional banking system. The workshop will focus on discussing strategies for retailers to gain authorization to sell mobile money and digital payment services in Europe. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Provide Consulting Services to An Binh Joint Stock Commercial Bank (ABBANK) to Finance Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), an arm of the US-based World Bank Group, recently announced that it has signed a “project services agreement” with An Binh Joint Stock Commercial Bank (ABBANK), a Vietnamese commercial bank. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to Loan $20m to India-based Caspian Impact Investment (CII) for On-lending to Enterprises

Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a government-backed development finance institution based in the US capital of Washington, DC, recently agreed to loan USD 20 million to Caspian Impact Investments (CII), a fund launched in 2013 by Indian investment management and advisory services company Caspian Advisors Private Ltd. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Contribute $200m to IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund (FIG Fund), Bringing Total Funding to $345m at First Close

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank, recently announced that it will devote up to USD 200 million to the IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund (FIG Fund), an investment vehicle that will make equity investments that aim to increase access to capital for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing markets [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Standard Chartered Bank of India Loans $5m to Indonesian Microfinance Institution (MFI) Mitra Bisnis Keluarga (MBK) Ventura

The Indian unit of UK-based commercial financial institution Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) recently notified MicroCapital that it has disbursed a one-year loan of IDR 60 billion (USD 5 million) to Mitra Bisnis Keluarga (MBK) Ventura, a non-banking microfinance institution (MFI) founded in Indonesia in 2003. Additional information regarding the terms of the loan is not available. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC), Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program to Loan $110m to Cambodia’s Acleda for agricultural lending

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group; the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), a multilateral mechanism established by the G20 group of 20 large economies; Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), a Tokyo-based subsidiary of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group; and the IFC Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program, a platform that allows institutional investors to participate in IFC’s senior-loan portfolio, recently announced that they will be loaning a total of 110 million to Acleda Bank (Acleda), a Cambodian commercial bank. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Germany’s Gemeinschaftsbank für Leihen und Schenken (GLS), Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Together Invest $34m in Green for Growth Fund Southeastern Europe (GGF)

Gemeinschaftsbank für Leihen und Schenken (GLS), a German bank that focuses on investing in social and ecological projects, reportedly has invested EUR 22 million (USD 23 million) in the Green for Growth Fund Southeast Europe (GGF), a Germany-based fund that invests in energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy sources. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Association of Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI), European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), Luxembourg Fund Labeling Agency (LuxFLAG) to Co-host “Impact Investing and Microfinance Conference,” April 29, 2015, Luxembourg

Event Name: Impact Investing & Microfinance Conference

Event Dates: April 29, 2015

Event Location: Namur Premises, Luxembourg Continue reading