Event Location: Centro Congressi Stella Polare Conference Centre, Milan, Italy
Summary of Event: This event is intended to promote awareness of remittances sent by migrants to their home countries. Session topics will include trends in remittences sent from Europe, best practices in regulation, opportunities for financial inclusion, competition and transaction costs, new technologies, opportunities for public-private partnerships and strategies for developing public-private partnerships to further financial inclusion.
Event Location: Ovnhallen Porcelænshaven 20, Copenhagen Business School; Copenhagen, Denmark
Summary of Event: This conference will include panels on topics such as low-carbon investment strategies, how asset owners can address climate change, investing in sustainable agriculture and food production, and social impact strategies for banks.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that offers financial services to businesses and governments in developing countries with the aim of increasing economic growth, recently mobilized USD 16.5 million for Imon International, a microfinance institution (MFI) based in Tajikistan. Continue reading →
The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV), recently issued a USD 20 million senior loan to AccessBank, an organization founded in 2002 to provide credit and other financial services to smaller businesses and low-income families in Azerbaijan. Continue reading →
Fondazione Giordano Dell’Amore, an Italian foundation that supports microfinance, has announced that it is accepting applications for its 2015 Giordano Dell’Amore Microfinance Best Practices International Award, which aims to increase the understanding of microfinance and promote the sharing of good practices among industry players. Continue reading →
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral financial institution that operates in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and North Africa, has expanded its support for on-lending for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Tajikistan with multi-currency loans to FINCA Tajikistan (FINCA TJK) and AccessBank Tajikistan (AccessBank) in amounts equivalent to USD 4 million and USD 5 million, respectively. Continue reading →
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral institution, has partnered with UniCredit Bank Banja Luka (UB), the unit of Italy’s UniCredit Group that operates in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to launch EBRD’s “Western Balkans Women in Business” program with a EUR 2 million (USD 2.3 million) credit provided to UB. Continue reading →
The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based investor in the development of local financial sectors in Southeast Europe and parts of Central Asia, recently informed MicroCapital that it has loaned EUR 20 million (USD 23 million) to Burgan Bank Turkey, a retail bank that is part of Kuwait’s Burgan Bank Group. The funds are to be on-lent on a “long-term” basis to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises in rural areas of the country. Continue reading →
The Sanad Fund for MSME (micro-, small and medium-sized enterprise), a Germany-based provider of “medium- and long-term” and equity financing in the Middle East and North Africa, recently agreed to loan the equivalent of USD 5 million in local currency to Enda Inter-Arabe, to help it expand its lending into additional underserved areas of Tunisia.
The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based investor in the development of local financial sectors in Southeast Europe and parts of Central Asia, recently informed MicroCapital that it has loaned EUR 20 million (USD 23 million) to AccessBank, an organization founded in 2002 to provide credit and other financial services to Azerbaijan’s smaller businesses and low-income families. The funds are to be on-lent to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises in rural areas of the country. Continue reading →
Two microfinance investment vehicles managed by a unit of the Netherlands’ Triodos Bank, the Triodos Fair Share Fund (TFSF), and the Triodos Microfinance Fund (TMF), have agreed to invest jointly in the following organizations: (1) Janalakshmi Financial Services (JFS), a Bangalore-based microfinance institution (MFI) that will borrow USD 11.4 million to expand its financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in India; (2) KazMicroFinance (KMF), which is reportedly the largest MFI in Kazakhstan and will sell the Triodos funds stakes totaling 13.7 percent of the organization’s shares; and (3) Kompanion Financial Group, an MFI in Kyrgyzstan that will sell the funds stakes totaling 17.5 percent of the organization’s shares as it seeks to transform from a community development financial institution into a microfinance bank   . Kompanion also sold a 17.5-percent stake to Dutch public-private development bank FMO; Mercy Corps, the founder of Kompanion, is retaining 65-percent ownership of the institution. The prices paid for the equity stakes in KMF and Kompanion have not been released. Continue reading →
The Sanad Fund for MSME (micro-, small and medium-sized enterprise), a Germany-based fund providing medium- and long-term debt and equity financing in the Middle East and North Africa, recently disbursed a senior loan of USD 3 million to Al-Amal Microfinance Bank (AMB), a nonprofit minority-held by the government of Yemen, to support micro- and small enterprises (MSE) in the country. Continue reading →
Satin Creditcare Network Limited, a microfinance institution based in Delhi, India, recently borrowed INR 628 crore (USD 10 million) from WorldBusiness Capital (WBC), a US-based lender to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Continue reading →
TBC Bank, a commercial bank that was founded in 1992 in Georgia as the Tblisi Business Centre, reportedly will acquire the microcredit portfolio of ProCredit Bank Georgia (PCBG), a financial institution that is majority-owned by Germany-based ProCredit Holding. As of January 2015, PCBG’s gross microloan portfolio amounted to GEL 39.3 million (USD 19.2 million). These loans, defined as those smaller than EUR 10,000 (USD 11,300), represent 5 percent of PCBG’s total loan portfolio. The purpose of the move is to allow PCBG to concentrate on the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) . Continue reading →
This opinion piece was contributed by David MacDougall, a consultant based in the US city of New York.
Microfinance inspires optimism. Investors – especially private equity investors – anticipate handsome returns; aid agencies see strong social impact; and microfinance institution (MFI) managers are certain they can grow themselves out of every tight situation. While microfinance can play an important role in development, most MFIs nevertheless are relatively simple financial institutions that need to be grounded in sound market and business principles rather than pie-in-the-sky expectations. These “Business 101″ principles, which may sound like common sense truisms, in my experience, have not trickled down to many MFIs. In over 10 years of examining the viability of MFI business models as an analyst and risk manager, I have seen decision makers fail again and again to do reality checks. What’s still urgently needed is sound market analysis and professional risk management. Continue reading →
The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB), the central banking authority of the country, has announced that organizations providing microfinance services in the country have six months to register with the bank to comply with the guidelines set forth in “Decree No. 325,” a presidential order “on the raising and provision of loans, the operation of microfinance organizations” . Continue reading →
The German government’s Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ) has agreed to invest equity in the amount of EUR 15 million (USD 17 million) in the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV). This new investment, which is in the highest risk “first-loss” tranche of EFSE, raises BMZ’s total commitment to the fund to approximately EUR 175 million (USD 200 million). The infusion will be used to provide local-currency financing to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Ukraine. Continue reading →
Vikram Akula, the founder and former chairman of Indian group-lender SKS Microfinance, recently bought 26-percent stake in the start-up Vaya Finserv. Launched in 2014, Vaya Finserv has plans to acquire a “small finance bank” license, which will it will use to provide credit to individuals in India who have been rejected by traditional banks, primarily women’s self-help groups. Continue reading →