The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in London, England, recently announced that it will provide a local-currency credit line equivalent to approximately USD 7 million for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Kyrgyzstan.
The European Union (EU) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in London, England, recently launched the Enhanced Competitiveness of Tajik Agribusiness Programme (ECTAP), for which they are seeking to raise EUR 42 million (USD 46.5 million) to boost agricultural productivity in Tajikistan via local financial service providers.
Through its Goodwell Microfinance Development Company (MDC) III Fund, Goodwell Investments recently issued a convertible loan of undisclosed amount to Ghanaian microfinance institution (MFI) Innovative Microfinance Limited (IML), which provides credit, savings products, financial education, business development training and environmental advisory services to low-income individuals and microenterprises.
Intellegrow, an India-based subsidiary of Intellecap Group specializing in venture debt, and Symbiotics, a Switzerland-based firm investing in smaller companies, recently launched a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) debt pool program, benefiting Indian entrepreneurs from “impact” sectors including, but not limited to, food and agriculture, healthcare, and waste management.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, and Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the international development arm of the French government, recently launched the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) SME Risk Sharing Facility, through which the organizations will guarantee loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), 20 percent of which are to be issued to enterprises owned and operated by women.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB), a 67-member development finance institution headquartered in the Philippines, and Citigroup, a financial services corporation based in the US city of New York, recently announced the intention to facilitate up to USD 100 million in local-currency loans for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Asia under the Microfinance Risk Participation and Guarantee Program.
JazzCash, a mobile money service of Pakistan-based cellular phone network Mobilink, and Visa, a US-based payment technology company, recently announced that JazzCash Mobile Account customers will be able to make purchases from the millions of merchants worldwide that accept Visa payment cards, including approximately 50,000 retail outlets in Pakistan.
The government of Canada recently announced it will donate USD 5.9 million from 2016 to 2020 to Zardozi, an Afghanistan-based NGO supporting women in establishing microenterprises.
The Green for Growth Fund (GGF), a Luxembourg-based investment vehicle that supports energy-efficiency (EE) initiatives in Eurasia and North Africa, recently announced a senior loan in the amount of EUR 1 million (USD 1.1 million) for Agjencioni për Financim në Kosovë (AFK), a non-banking microfinance institution operating in Kosovo.
The Agricultural Extension Support Activity (AESA) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is implemented by the Bangladesh-based nonprofit Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM), is piloting an initiative to provide smallholder farmers with loans via bank cards.
Incofin Investment Management, a Belgium-based investment management firm focusing on microfinance institutions (MFIs) in developing countries, recently announced sales of some of its equity in Banco para el Fomento a las Iniciativas Económicas (Banco FIE), a Bolivian bank focusing on the financially excluded, to the bank’s incumbent shareholders.
The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the US-based Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is partnering with the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Colombian government’s Department for Social Prosperity (DPS) to launch a social impact bond fund aimed at increasing urban employment in Colombia.
The Sanad Fund for MSME (Micro Small and Medium Enterprises), a provider of loans and equity to financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, recently announced that it will lend an additional USD 10 million to AlexBank, an Egypt-based financial services institution, to on-lend to MSMEs in Egypt .
Austria-based C-Quadrat Asset Management recently issued loans worth the equivalent of USD 17 million to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Costa Rica, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mexico, Peru and the Philippines.
Symbiotics, a Switzerland-based investment intermediary, and UBS, which is formerly known as the United Bank of Switzerland, recently closed their SME Finance – Loans for Growth Fund with USD 50 million in investments. The fund will provide credit to financial institutions focused on lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in “frontier and emerging markets.”
MicroCapital: How does housing finance differ from traditional microfinance?
Rajnish Dhall: In India, traditional microloans usually are: (1) sized less than USD 1,000; (2) targeted for productive assets; (3) priced at around 22 percent per year; (4) repaid within less than a year or two; and (5) carry a group guarantee in lieu of collateral. In contrast, the micromortgages that Micro Housing Finance Corporation (MHFC) offers first-time homebuyers: (1) average about USD 8,000 in size; (2) carry interest rates of about 12.5 percent per year; (3) usually have a term of 15 years; (4) are individual rather than group-based; and (5) most importantly, are secured with the home as collateral. While the audience is quite similar, the products are almost at opposite ends of the spectrum.
Mark van Doesburgh: The MicroBuild Fund (MBF) we manage for Habitat for Humanity
Event Name: Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Investor Forum 2016
Event Date: December 7 – December 8, 2016
Event Location: NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Dam 9 1012 JS, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
BlueOrchard Finance, a Switzerland-based commercial manager of “impact” investments, recently announced the launch of its Japan Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Women Empowerment Fund, which plans to invest USD 120 million in microfinance institutions (MFIs) focused on lending to female micro- and small-scale entrepreneurs in ASEAN countries.