MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Netherlands’ FMO Buys $50m Bond from Turkey’s Sekerbank to Support 4k Rural SMEs

The Netherlands Development Finance Company, a government-backed institution also known by its Dutch acronym FMO, recently agreed to fund a private bond placement by Turkey’s Sekerbank in the amount of TRY 192 million

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Netherlands’ FMO Arranges Syndicated Loan of $110m for Aklease to Support Energy Efficiency in Turkey, with Participation from EBRD, Green for Growth Fund, GGF

The Netherlands Development Finance Company, a government-backed institution also known by its Dutch acronym FMO, recently arranged a syndicated loan in the amount of USD 110 million for Ak Finansal Kiralama AS (“Aklease”), a leasing subsidiary of the Turkish bank Akbank, to support energy-efficiency and

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Armenia’s Ameriabank Borrowing $30m from FMO for Youth-owned SMEs

The Netherlands Development Finance Company, a government-backed institution also known by its Dutch acronym FMO, recently announced it will loan USD 30 million to Ameriabank CJSC, a closed joint stock company in Armenia, to finance

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Greenlight Planet Nets Equity, Debt Totaling $60m for Sun King Solar Product Line from Apis, Eight Roads, Bamboo, Deutsche, Global Partnerships, Other Investors

Greenlight Planet, which has offices in Kenya, India and the US, recently raised a total of USD 60 million in equity and debt “to expand its solar-energy product lines, distribution networks, and financing capabilities in Africa and Asia.” Three entities purchased stakes of unspecified sizes in Greenlight, including Apis Growth Fund I, the lead investor in the funding round, which is managed by Nigeria- and UK-based Apis Partners. The other two entities increased existing stakes in Greenlight: Eight Roads Ventures, a private equity firm with offices in seven countries; and Bamboo Capital Partners, an investor seeking “economic, social and environmental

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Erste Group Pilots Roma Housing Microfinance Project in Slovakia

The Erste Group Bank, an Austria-based institution with 16 million clients in Central and Southeast Europe, recently completed the pilot phase of a homeownership program for members of the Roma community in Slovakia. The program begins with financial education and a savings program. Of the 100 families that enrolled, 60 completed 12 months of savings, making them eligible to

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MFI in Bosnia and Herzegovina Borrows from Dual Return Vision Microfinance Fund

A microfinance institution (MFI) in Bosnia and Herzegovina borrowed a portion of the equivalent of USD 47 million that C-Quadrat Asset Management, a unit of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, disbursed during November via the Dual Return Vision Microfinance funds. The other borrowers are located elsewhere in Europe as well as Latin America and

SPECIAL REPORT: Registering Property, Charging Up to 3% Monthly Interest, Promoting Local Currency for Housing Loans at European Microfinance Week

At European Microfinance Week 2017the session titled “Building an Enabling Environment for Low-Income Housing Finance,” R V Verma, former Chairman of the National Housing Bank (NHB) (India) and consultant to the World Bank Group, said that “pushing the formal financial system to reach out to the informal sector [presents] a lot of challenges, but also huge opportunities. As part of financial inclusion, housing microfinance has a very important role.” Mr Verma went on to describe the market in India, which has an outstanding mortgage balance of INR 13 trillion (USD 200 billion) but a shortage of 24 million housing units. He also explained efforts to mitigate risk for housing lenders – both credit risk and issues with land title. Among the tools in use is a central registry of outstanding property loans. Mortgage insurance is also available even to informal workers – when lenders are willing to issue them loans.

Adedeji Adesemoye of the Central Bank of Nigeria described his institution’s efforts to address Nigeria’s shortage of 17 million housing units via resources including a loan package of USD 300 million awarded by the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) in 2012. While much of this package was for refinancing mortgages, USD 15 million of it was earmarked for housing microfinance. That portion was disbursed to nine microfinance institutions to test lending to existing (non-housing) clients for land acquisition, incremental construction and

SPECIAL REPORT: Cooperativa de Ahorro y Préstamo Tosepantomin (Mexico), Winner of the 2017 European Microfinance Award

From the European Investment Bank: The 2017 European Microfinance Award honours a microfinance institution, based in a developing country, that implemented innovative solutions to support access to better quality residential housing for low income, vulnerable and excluded groups, with no or limited access to housing finance in the mainstream sector.

The Cooperativa de Ahorro y Préstamo Tosepantomin helps marginalised rural Mexican communities with their residential housing building projects by offering savings and home loan products paired with technical support. The cooperative is also recognised for its promotion of eco-friendly building techniques.

This award, a EUR 100,000 prize from the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs of Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, was given at a ceremony held at the European Investment Bank, in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses the Grand Duchess and the Hereditary

SPECIAL REPORT: Scaling Up Implementation of Social Performance Management at European Microfinance Week

On European Microfinance Week 2017the first day of conference sessions at European Microfinance Week, experts in the social performance of microfinance institutions (MFIs) discussed how tools developed over the last ten years have reached a level of maturity warranting their wider rollout.

Cecile Lapenu of France-based Cerise described SPI4, the fourth iteration of a set of Social Performance Indicators intended to simplify reporting and provide a common language for different stakeholders to discuss social performance management (SPM). SPI4 incorporates the Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Principles and the Social Performance Task Force’s Universal Standards for SPM. It also includes optional modules on poverty, gender and the environment. To date, 432 SPI4 audits have been completed on institutions in 88 countries.

Jurgen Hammer of the Luxembourg-based Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation explained his organization’s use of the SPI4/ALINUS (Aligning Investors’ Due Diligence to the Universal Standards) framework to evaluate and benchmark the social performance of its partner MFIs. The foundation was meeting or exceeding the benchmark data in all categories except

SPECIAL REPORT: Rural Outreach and Innovation Action Group Highlights Apps, Soil Test Kits, Funding Agricultural Cooperatives

On European Microfinance Week 2017the first afternoon of European Microfinance Week, the European Microfinance Platform’s (e-MFP’s) Rural Outreach & Innovation Action Group presented a range of services that are reaching rural areas today.

Amsalu Alemayehu of Ethiopia’s Wasasa Microfinance explained that his organization has been financing agricultural cooperatives for about five years and how this can be an efficient method for serving a large number of people. However, the number of cooperatives Wasasa serves remains small. Mr Alemayehu explained that many of the 78,000 cooperatives in Ethiopia are member-managed and need significant capacity building to become creditworthy.

Marina Kortenbusch of Switzerland’s Business & Finance Consulting (BFC), who is also the chair of the Action Group, spoke passionately about

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC Lends $7m to Opportunity Bank Serbia (OBS) to Support Rural Farmers, MSEs

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, recently lent USD 7 million to Opportunity Bank Serbia (OBS) for on-lending to farmers as well as micro- and small enterprises with the intent of helping

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EBRD, EU, European Investment Advisory Hub to Provide Technical Assistance to SMEs in Bulgaria, Romania

The UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the EU and the European Investment Advisory Hub recently created a program to provide

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: 11 Women Offered MFI Jobs After Completing Afghanistan Microfinance Association Apprenticeships

A group of 75 women recently completed nine-month microfinance apprenticeships in the Afghan provinces of Balkh, Herat and Kabul. Eleven of these have been offered paid positions within the microfinance institutions (MFIs) at which they trained, Afghan Rural Finance Company, the First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan, the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) Afghanistan and Oxus Afghanistan. Three additional MFIs, Mutahid, Exchangerzone and Hand in Hand, have agreed to host women apprentices in the future.

The program was funded by

MICROFINANCE EVENT: 14th Annual Global Microfinance Forum; March 15-16, 2018; Munich, Germany

Event Name: 14th Annual Global Microfinance Forum

Event Date: March 15 – March 16, 2018

Event Location: Munich, Germany

Summary of Event: This conference will include sessions on microleasing, “green” microcredit, managing foreign exchange risk, crowdfunding, serving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), technology, leveraging guarantees

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Uzbekistan’s NBU Borrowing $70m from EBRD to On-lend to MSMEs

The National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity of Uzbekistan (NBU) recently opened credit lines totaling USD 100 million with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based development finance institution. USD 70 million of the total is earmarked to on-lend to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises, with the remainder allocated to