Category: Investment Funds

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Unitus CEO Joseph Grenny Answers Questions Regarding Change in Strategy, Use of SKS Microfinance Initial Public Offering Proceeds

Mr Joseph Grenny, CEO of Unitus Inc., a US-based international nonprofit organization, recently responded to concerns regarding its announcement that it will be discontinuing its microcredit operations and regarding the use of its proceeds from the initial public offering of SKS Microfinance. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bankers Without Borders (BwB) Receives $150,000 in Seed Capital for Alliance Program from JP Morgan’s Social Finance Unit

Bankers without Borders (BwB), a volunteer program started in 2008 by the Grameen Foundation that supports microfinance and technology initiatives related to finance in poor countries, has received an investment of USD 150,000 in seed capital from JP Morgan’s Social Finance Unit to expand its services in the Americas and Asia as the “Alliance Program.” Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: responsAbility Global Microfinance Fund and responsAbility Microfinanz-Fonds Invest $1.4m in Microfinance Institutions OXUS Tajikistan and Enterprise Bank Inc of the Philippines

responsAbility Global Microfinance Fund (rAGMF) and responsAbility Microfinanz-Fonds, microfinance investment vehicles managed by responsAbility Social Investments AG, recently reported to MicroCapital the details of four debt investments made during the month of July 2010, totaling the equivalent of USD 1.4 million, in microfinance institutions OXUS Tajikistan and the Enterprise Bank, Inc of the Philippines. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Provides $1.5m Loan to Bai-Tushum to Support Micro- and Small Enterprises in Kyrgyz Republic

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), an international finance institution headquartered in London, is providing a loan of KGS 67.5 million (USD 1.5 million) to Bai Tushum and Partners, a microfinance institution (MFI) in the Kyrgyz Republic, for on-lending to micro- and small enterprises (MSEs). This constitutes the first of two equal tranches under a KGS 135 million (USD 3 million) loan agreement signed in March 2010. According to EBRD, the transaction is part of a USD 60 million non-bank MFI framework for “Early Transition Countries,” which was approved by EBRD in September 2008. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) Loans $4m Each to Prasac and Sathapana, Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Cambodia

The Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), established in 2001, recently loaned USD 4 million each to two microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Cambodia: Prasac and Sathapana. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Provide $25m to Federal Bank, a Private Commercial Bank in India, to Support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, will provide financing of USD 25 million to Federal Bank, a private commercial bank in India, to improve support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to boost international trade opportunities. The deal will “facilitate transactions in challenging markets, promote competitive financing and build bank relationships with new institutions, thereby reducing risk and enabling more smaller businesses to engage in trade.” Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Andean Development Corporation (CAF) Approves $5m Line of Credit for Caja Rural de Ahorro y Credito (CRAC) Nuestra Gente to Support Micro and Small Enterprises in Peru

The Andean Development Corporation (CAF), a multilateral financial institution working across Latin America, has approved a USD 5 million line of credit for Caja Rural de Ahorro y Credito (CRAC) Nuestra Gente, a microfinance institution in Peru, to finance micro- and small enterprises in Peru. According to Eleonora Silva Pardo, the director of CAF in Peru, the granting of this line of credit is part of CAF’s goal of improving support for the micro- and small enterprise sector in all of Latin America. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: “Ethical Investment: Can it outperform other funds?”: Rob Robbins Examines Performance of Ethical Investments

Rob Robbins, founder of ‘Investing for the Soul,’ a US-based online “ethical investment” magazine, insists ethical investments can outperform their mainstream rivals. Ethical or socially responsible investment is an investment strategy that seeks to maximize both financial return an social good. According to Mr Robbins, “Most studies of ethical or socially responsible investment funds find that their performance is roughly similar or sometimes higher than returns from conventional investments.” Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Investment Fund Implements $32m Guarantee Under the European Progress Microfinance Facility for Employment and Social Inclusion

The European Union (EU) has mandated the European Investment Fund to implement a EUR 25 million (USD 32 million) guarantee under the European Progress Microfinance Facility by issuing guarantees backed by the EU and covering microloans or guarantees supporting microloans. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: South Korean Government Launches Sunshine Microfinance Loan Program under Smile Microcredit Bank for Low-income Households

The South Korean government has launched “Sunshine Loans,” a new offering under Smile Microcredit Bank – a state-run microfinance program established in 2009 to provide unsecured loans to low-income households through partnerships with the private sector. Over the next five years, the program is slated to extend KRW 10 trillion (USD 8.45 billion) to low-income households. The program will be implemented by a variety of financial institutions, including the National Agricultural Cooperative Foundation, the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative, the National Credit Union Federation of Korea, the Korean Foundation of Community Credit Cooperatives and several unnamed private mutual savings banks. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Unitus Equity Fund Investment in SKS Microfinance Valued at $60m, Partial Exit Expected This Week

Unitus Equity Fund, a privately-funded microfinance investment fund affiliated with Unitus Inc., a United States-based nonprofit, is reportedly expected to reduce its shareholdings in SKS Microfinance this week by selling approximately 1 million shares during SKS Microfinance’s initial public offering (IPO), which has been covered by MicroCapital several times since March 29, 2010. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: BlueOrchard Closes Its Private Equity Fund With $195m in Total Commitments from Institutional and Individual Microfinance Investors

BlueOrchard, a Swiss-based microfinance intermediary, has recently closed its BlueOrchard Private Equity Fund with USD 195 million in total commitments from institutional and individual investors. The BlueOrchard Private Equity Fund is a SICAV registered in Luxembourg in December 2007. It seeks to forge long-term partnerships with microfinance institutions (MFIs) across the world. It acquires minority stakes in MFIs and aims to play an active governance role by sharing international experience, information, networks and knowledge. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroRate Releases 5th Annual Survey: “State of Microfinance Investment: The MicroRate 2010 Microfinance Investment Vehicle (MIV) Survey”

MicroRate, a microfinance rating agency, has released its fifth annual survey evaluating trends in microfinance investment – “State of Microfinance Investment: The MicroRate 2010 Microfinance Investment Vehicle (MIV) Survey.” The 2010 MIV survey indicates that investor interest in microfinance funds and similar intermediaries remains strong despite the global recession. However, strong interest from investors is being offset by weaker demand for funding from microfinance institutions (MFIs). In 2009, MIVs grew by 22 percent, but assets actually deployed to MFIs only grew 11 percent. This leaves MIVs with rapidly increasing levels of liquidity. By the end of last year, competition forced rates below the minimum level that some MIVs deem necessary in order to be compensated fully for the risk involved. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (CBHF) Announces $1m in New Grants to Promote Economic Opportunities Including Microfinance

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (CBHF), a nonprofit organization created by former US presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to rebuild Haiti following the January 12 earthquake, has announced USD 1 million in new grants aimed at creating new jobs and promoting economic opportunity, including microfinance. An unspecified proportion of the grant will be used to finance the Haiti Emergency Liquidity Program (HELP), which will give recovery grants to “key” microfinance institutions (MFIs), which are defined as those having approximately 50,000 clients or more. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Swadhaar FinServe Private Limited to Receive $5.9m in Equity from ACCION International, Unitus Equity Fund, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, MicroVest, an Indian Family Trust and Swadhaar’s Promoter Group

Swadhaar FinServe Private Limited, a Mumbai-based microfinance institution (MFI) with total assets of USD 2.1 million as of 2008, recently announced that it will receive INR 27.5 crore (equivalent to USD 5.9 million) in equity from several different investor organizations and private investors. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Germany’s Environment Ministry, KfW to Launch $500m Microfinance Fund for Climate Projects in Brazil, Asia, Africa

Germany’s Federal Environment Ministry recently announced it would be launching a USD 500 million climate fund that will provide microloans for individual energy efficiency or renewables projects initially through local banks in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Morocco, the Philippines and South Africa. Continue reading

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