MICROFINANCE EVENT: 13th Annual Global Microfinance Forum; March 16 – 17, 2017; Prague, Czech Republic

Event Name: 13th Annual Global Microfinance Forum

Event Date: March 16 – 17, 2017

Event Location: Grandior Prague Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic

Summary of Event: Participants at this event will discuss recent changes in the microfinance industry and predictions for its future. Speakers will address topics

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EFSE Loans $16m to Halkbank for Housing, Microenterprise, Small-business Lending in Macedonia

The European Fund for Southeast Europe, a microfinance investment vehicle that was launched by Germany’s KfW Development Bank, announced today that it has issued senior loans totaling EUR 15 million (USD 16 million) to Halkbank AD Skopje, which describes itself as Macedonia’s “first downscaling bank,

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UN’s Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) Provides $10m to The Currency Exchange Fund (TCX) to Subsidize Third-party Lending in Local Currency to Microfinance Institutions in Myanmar

The Currency Exchange Fund (TCX), which is based in the Netherlands, recently raised USD 10 million from the UN-managed Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) to reduce the cost of foreign-exchange hedging for “impact lenders” funding microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Myanmar. TCX provides this hedging service, absorbing the currency-exchange risk on the loans, so the lenders can commit US dollars while the MFIs access funding denominated in kyat. Via multiple microloan repayment cycles over three years, the MFIs are expected to gain sufficient liquidity from the LIFT-supported facility to fund

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: C-Quadrat’s Dual Return Vision Microfinance Funds Loan $22m in Burkina Faso, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Paraguay, Sri Lanka

Austria’s C-Quadrat Asset Management informed MicroCapital today that its Dual Return Vision Microfinance and Dual Return Vision Microfinance-Local Currency funds loaned a total approximately equivalent to USD 22 million during November to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Symbiotics Issues $22m in Bonds for Banco Improsa, Grupo Promerica to Benefit Costa Rican, Salvadoran SMEs

Symbiotics, a Swiss firm specializing in micro-, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) investment, recently issued bonds for two Central American banks serving SMEs. This included bonds totaling USD 15.7 million for Inversiones Financieras Promerica, the Salvadoran unit of Grupo Promerica, which was founded in Nicaragua and now serves nine countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Symbiotics also issued its second tranche of 2016 for Costa Rica’s Banco Improsa in the amount of

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: D.light Raises $15m in Equity from Energy Access Ventures, KawiSafi, NewQuest, Omidyar to Expand Sales of Solar Products via Microloans, Develop Televisions for Emerging Markets

D.light, a privately-owned retailer of solar appliances based in the US city of San Francisco, recently raised USD 22.5 million in funding to expand its PayGo platform, which offers microloans to finance purchases of solar products.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC, Cathay United Bank Loaning $50m to VPBank for SMEs in Vietnam with Support From Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, and Cathay United Bank, a Taiwan-based commercial bank, recently announced that they will each lend USD 25 million to Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) to support small businesses in Vietnam.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Oikocredit Increases Equity Stake in Bolivian MFI Banco FIE

Oikocredit, a cooperative “social investment” fund based in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, recently increased its equity stake in Banco para el Fomento a las Iniciativas Económicas (Banco FIE), “more than doubling” its investment in the Bolivian microfinance bank.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EFSE, Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rabo International Advisory Services Facilitate Capacity Building Plan for FED Invest to Support Farmers, SMEs in Rural Albania

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based investment fund focused on 16 Central Asian and Southeast European countries, in partnership with the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Rabo International Advisory Services (RIAS), a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Rabobank Group, recently announced that the EFSE Development Facility will “cover part of the costs of a multi-year capacity building plan” aimed at expanding Albania-based FED Invest’s ability to provide financial services to farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in rural areas.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Investment Bank, World Bank Partner to “Boost MENA,” Supporting First-time Entrepreneurs in the Middle East, North Africa

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the Luxembourg-based long-term lender of the European Union (EU), and the US-based multilateral World Bank Group (WBG) recently announced a joint initiative, Boost MENA, to support “first-time entrepreneurs”, particularly women and young people, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

SPECIAL REPORT: Microfinance Investment Vehicles Setting “Green” Targets; Looking to Asian, Latin American MFIs to Deploy Environment-focused Microloans

During European Microfinance Platformone of Friday’s sessions of European Microfinance Week, Hatem Mahbouli, an investment officer with Dutch development bank Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), described his institution’s plans to direct 20 percent of its investments each year to environmental efforts. FMO, which reports the equivalent of USD 9 billion in total assets, has disbursed about USD 120 million of its financial services investments in the “green” sub-sector. To move further toward its goal, FMO is looking particularly to

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: ACDI/VOCA Registers “Impact” Investment Management Subsidiary AV Ventures and AV Ventures Ghana Fund

Agricultural Cooperative Development International/Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA), a US-based nonprofit that implements “sustainable international development” projects related to supporting entrepreneurs in developing nations, recently registered a new subsidiary, AV Ventures LLC, which is designed to build “impact” funds that invest in agricultural small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in an effort to promote “more inclusive, responsible supply chains.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO Provides $10m Credit Facility to Agrofértil of Paraguay for Agricultural Input Financing

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch development bank, recently announced that it has provided a “medium-term” credit facility of USD 10 million to Agrofértil, a company that provides credit, crop protection products, agricultural inputs and “agronomic services” to farmers and farmer cooperatives in Paraguay.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Correlations Between Financial, Social MFI Performance; Banking for a Better World; A Case for Partnerships Among Corporations, Social Enterprises

“Where Good Intentions Meet Good Business Practice”; by Meraj Husain and Micol Pistelli; published by the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX); August 2016; 16 pages; available at: https://www.themix.org/sites/default/files/publications/where_good_intentions_meet_good_business_practice_mix_august_2016_final.pdf

Drawing upon Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX)’s database of financial service provider (FSP) performance indicators, the authors examine the relationship between the social and financial performance of 780 FSPs in 98 countries.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EBRD Provides Local-currency Credit Line Worth $7m for MSMEs in Kyrgyzstan Through Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EBRD, European Union Launch Agribusiness Program in Tajikistan with $2m in Local-currency for MFI Arvand

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Goodwell Disburses Convertible Loan to “Innovative Microfinance Limited” for Expansion in Rural Ghana

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.