The micro-loan securitization with pass-through certificates (PTCs or securities), completed by the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) Capital and Equitas Micro Finance India Pvt Ltd, has created an opportunity for mutual funds to invest in the Indian microfinance sector. IFMR Capital is a non-banking finance company based in Chennai, India, and Equitas is a microfinance institution (MFI) also based in Chennai. Continue Reading »
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MICROCAPITAL.ORG BRIEF: IFMR Capital and Equitas Micro-Loan Securitization Allows for Mutual Fund Investment in Indian Microfinance Sector
MICROCAPITAL.ORG BRIEF: The Life Insurance Corporation of India Extends Microinsurance Policies to Cover All Workers in 255 Rural Indian Villages
All 11,500 workers under the National Rural Employment Scheme (NREGS) in the Saikul area of Manipur, India, are now registered microinsurance policyholders under the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). NREGS, enacted by the Indian Parliament in 2005, works to improve financial inclusion in rural areas, especially for people living below the poverty line. The 11,500 workers, spanning across 255 villages, will receive a total of Rs 150 million (USD 3.2 million) upon maturity of the insurance policies, which range between 5 to 15 years. Continue Reading »
Warba Insurance Company (WIC), established in 1976 as a Kuwait Shareholding Company, has added microinsurance to a list of its insurance products. WIC currently offers motor, marine cargo, group life, health, individual life, property, accident and travel insurance. The “Micro Insurance Policy” will provide life, accident and disability insurance, as well as repatriation benefits to low-income nationals and expatriates. The policy will provide compensation of KD 2,000 (USD 7,011) in case of death and KD 4000 (USD 14,022) in the case of death due to accident. It will also cover seven kinds of disability and expenses for transferring the remains of the dead to his home country up to KD 500 (USD 1,753). Mr. Anwar Al-Sabej, WIC’s Assistant General Manager, stated, “In spite of the current economic crisis, WIC’s Individual Life Division has recorded 68 percent growth in the number of policies and 157 percent growth in premiums up to October 2009 as compared to last year figures.” Continue Reading »
MICROCAPITAL.ORG BRIEF: SCOR Invests in LeapFrog Investments to Gain Experience in Microinsurance Sector
According to The Review, an insurance magazine, the Paris-based reinsurer, SCOR Group, has invested an undisclosed amount in LeapFrog Investments, a microinsurance fund with USD 44 million in equity. A statement issued by SCOR stated, “Our investment in LeapFrog is a demonstration of [our] support of a socially-responsible sector such as microinsurance.” SCOR also said that the “strict investment return criteria applied … to all its investments” was also applicable in this instance. Additionally, SCOR’s CFO, Mr. Paolo de Martin, will be joining LeapFrog’s advisory board. Continue Reading »
FINCA International and Deutsche Bank have secured capital commitments of USD 21.2 million from private-sector investors for the FINCA Microfinance Fund BV. The offering will support on-lending and infrastructure development for FINCA affiliates in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico and Central Asia. Investors in the fund include pension funds and socially-oriented private investors.
FINCA International reports 730,000 clients in 21 countries with an average loan size of USD 503. Continue Reading »
Muang Thai Life Assurance (MTLA), which is among the top five insurance companies in Thailand, is planning to expand access to its microinsurance program in rural areas of Thailand. The program has already been running for four years. Annual premiums range from 1,200 to 10,000 baht (USD 36 to USD 301) for coverage of 50,000 to 150,000 baht (USD 1,506 to 4519). Premiums are calculated based on factors such as the types of crops grown, the number of harvests per year, and the size of a client’s potential income. According to Mr. Sara Lamsam, president of MTLA, “at this preliminary stage, we have yet to expect [the program] to boost sales, but in the future our brand would definitely be in the forefront of their minds once the communities are financially strong enough and have a better understanding of the importance of savings.” As part of its microinsurance program, MTLA also educates people on money management and savings. Continue Reading »
Name of Organization or Microfinance Investment Vehicle: MicroEnsure
Overview: MicroEnsure, a subsidiary of Opportunity International, was established in 2005 as a microinsurance intermediary.
MicroEnsure was founded in 2005 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Opportunity International, a global non-profit microfinance network created in 1974. It was known as the Micro Insurance Agency until 2008. As an insurance intermediary, it provides a range of low-cost products including health, life, property and weather index-based insurance to over 3.5 million poor clients across six countries: Ghana, India, the Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. In 2008, MicroEnsure received a USD 24.2 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help expand its insurance products to the poor in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In 2009, it won the Financial Times award for Achievement in Basic Needs Financing. Continue Reading »
Name of Organization or Microfinance Investment Vehicle: LeapFrog Investments
Overview: LeapFrog Investments is a for-profit, private equity fund focused on microinsurance and financial inclusion
LeapFrog Investments was founded in 2007 by Dr. Andrew Kuper. It is a for-profit, private equity fund aimed at earning large returns by investing in and supporting microinsurance initiatives. LeapFrog has raised USD 44 million from a range of public and private investors, including the European Investment Bank, the Omidyar Network, FMO, Triodos-Doen and Hivos-Triodos, ACCION International, Calvert, and Felipe Medina (a senior Goldman Sachs wealth manager). The LeapFrog team has also committed USD 1 million of their own personal money into the fund. The fund focuses on ventures in Africa and Asia, with initial target countries including South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Pakistand and the Philippines. Continue Reading »
Microinsurance, an emerging field in microfinance, aims to protect low-income people against risks such as illness, death and natural disasters in exchange for low premiums. As a fairly nascent field, microinsurance-related information is less prevalent than information on the more dominant fields of microfinance like microcredit or microsavings. The following list, however, represents some of the key providers of microinsurance resources today: Continue Reading »
NEWS WIRE: United Kingdom: Planned IPO by SKS Microfinance Brings Up Question of Mission Versus Profit
Source: The Times of London.
Complete article available online.
LONDON, October 22 – Plans for a stock market flotation by India’s largest private microfinance lender have further inflamed the debate over whether the industry should be putting profits or the wellbeing of its impoverished clients first.
SKS Microfinance specialises in lending small sums to very poor borrowers, many of them women, a process that it argues is helping to tackle poverty by funding small businesses.
The group, whose investors include Sequoia, the venture capital firm that famously backed Google, has talked to three investment banks — Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Kotak — about a listing in Mumbai that could raise up to $250 million (£150 million).
The deal, earmarked for the autumn, would be the first of its kind in India, one of the world’s biggest microfinance markets, and would offer investors exposure to a sector that many believe has huge potential. Some estimates have suggested that global demand for microcredit stands at about $250 billion, ten times the amount lent so far….
Remainder of article available online.
PRESS RELEASE: SKS Microfinance Securitization Receives “Highest Safety” Rating from Credit Analysis & Research
MICROCAPITAL.ORG STORY: Social Capital Markets 2009 (SoCap09) and Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Support “Social Financing”
A recent story from The Economist titled, “Financial innovation and the poor: A place in society,” states that despite the recent financial crisis, bankers, investors, and philanthropists have not shied away from capital markets.  Continue Reading »
MicroCapital: Please briefly describe your organization.
Emmanuelle Javoy: Planet Rating is a microfinance rating agency, meaning that we provide ratings or evaluations of the sustainability of microfinance institutions (MFIs) – both the financial and social sustainability of the institution. Continue Reading »
NEWS WIRE: India: Microfinance Institution Grama Vidiyal to Raise $21m in Non-convertible Debentures
MICROCAPITAL.ORG STORY: Basix Chairman Vijay Mahajan Advocates The Use Of Interest-Free Microfinance And Islamic Finance Techniques To Help Muslim Clients in Small Communities In India
According to a report entitled ‘Islamic way of microcredit the best way to help the poor: Basix Chief’  which is available on the Two Circles online information portal , the chairman of the Indian MFI, Basix , Mr Vijay Mahajan, was stated to have strongly advocated the use of interest free microcredit or equity financing as an appropriate way of enabling the poor in India gain financial independence. Speaking at the inaugural session of an orientation and training camp on interest free micro-financing in Hyderabad, Mr Mahajan was quoted as stating that financing techniques where the investor and the microentrepreneur share both the loss and profit or ‘micro equity finance’ is particularly suitable for poor people although he did caution that it will work most effectively in small communities where people know and trust each other and where the Islamic concept of ‘Iman’ or honesty can thrive. Continue Reading »