The party of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe recently proposed a law that would require lenders to accept “moveable” assets, such as machinery, vehicles, livestock and accounts receivable, as collateral. Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, said the legislation would “promote Continue reading
During April 2017, Italy’s MicroFinanza Rating issued four microfinance institutional ratings. Two of these were to affiliates of French NGO Entrepreneurs du Monde: BB- with a stable outlook to Assilassimé Solidarité of Togo and CC “under observation” to Palmis Mikwofinans Sosyal of Haiti. The other two are Continue reading
The EU’s European Investment Bank (EIB) recently announced it has opened two new credit lines to support small-scale enterprises in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The larger credit line is in the amount of EUR 75 million (USD 80 million) in the name of Equity Bank, a Kenya-based Continue reading
Event Name: Dot Finance Africa
Event Date: May 17 – May 18, 2017
Event Location: Kigali, Rwanda
Summary of Event: This event will include speeches and discussions on financial technology (fintech) topics including artificial intelligence, blockchain databases, client protection, collaboration, Continue reading
Tala, a US-based microlender serving East Africa and Southeast Asia via mobile phone apps, recently raised USD 30 million through its Series B equity round in order to expand its services into South Asia and Latin America. Tala provides loans between USD 10 Continue reading
In partnership with US-based eCurrency, Senegal’s Banque Régionale de Marché (BRM) is planning to launch a digital version of CFA francs, the currency used by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), which comprises Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. The currency is described as Continue reading
Belgium’s Incofin Investment Management recently informed MicroCapital that its agRIF, the successor to the Rural Impulse Funds I and II, has raised USD 27 million in unspecified portions from multiple investors, bringing its size Continue reading
Italy’s MicroFinanza Rating recently certified two Moroccan microfinance institutions (MFIs), al Amana and Attawfiq Micro-Finance, as operating within the Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Principles. With a third institution, Tamwil El Fellah (TEF), having received certification in 2016, 64 percent of Continue reading
“The Africa and Middle East Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report”; by The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) and Energy4Impact; published by CCAF; February 2017; 64 pages; available at https://www.scribd.com/document/338995486/CCAF-Africa-and-Middle-East-Alternative-Finance-Report-2017#download&from_embed/
This report focuses on assessing the types and prevalence of alternative financing in Africa and the Middle East. Continue reading
Mastercard, a US-based technology and payments company; and Unilever, a UK-based supplier of consumer goods, recently announced that they will develop a partnership to provide access to digital technologies to small-scale entrepreneurs in developing countries with the aim of helping them buy supplies and sell goods more efficiently. The partnership’s first project will be to spread the use of Mastercard’s digital payment platforms via Continue reading
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.
Conference Organizers: The conference is organized by Ethico Live!, an organization that arranges events related to the financial services sector including banking, investment and insurance. Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSD Uganda), a nonprofit organization that advocates innovation, conducts research and implements policy in Uganda; and the Department for International Development (DfID), a unit of the UK government, are also partnering to produce the event.
Summary of Event: Finnovation Africa 2017 seeks to gather stakeholders of the African financial technology (fintech) “value chain” Continue reading
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
The Bank of Ghana (BoG), the financial regulator of the country, is introducing a logo that microfinance institutions (MFIs) can display to help consumers “distinguish between credible, licensed microfinance institutions and unlicensed ones.” BoG also is requiring MFIs to monitor Continue reading
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
TriLinc Global Impact Fund (TriLinc) recently announced that it has approved the disbursal of USD 36.8 million to fund term loans and trade finance transactions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The term loans will be disbursed to 10 different companies Continue reading
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
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
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