MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation Lends $3m in Local Currency to Asian Credit Fund of Kazakhstan, Oxus Tajikistan for Microfinance

Two microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Central Asia are among those that recently borrowed from the Grameen Credit Agricole (GCA) Foundation, whose head office is in Luxembourg. Both of the loans are denominated in local currency and have terms of three years. Neither MFI accepts deposits.

The Asian Credit Fund, an MFI controlled by US-based NGO Mercy Corps, borrowed the equivalent of

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Green for Growth Fund Nets $19m in Equity from BMZ to Boost Funding of Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Projects via Microfinance Institutions, Banks

The Green for Growth Fund (GGF), which invests in reductions in pollution and energy usage in Eurasia and North Africa, recently accepted an investment of EUR 15 million (USD 19 million) from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, which is also known by its German acronym BMZ, to boost the fund’s investment in

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Fusion Microfinance of India Raises $12m in Equity from Creation Investments, Oikocredit, Gawa Capital

Fusion Microfinance, a lender to groups of women in India, recently raised INR 800 million (USD 12.4 million) is unspecified portions from US-based Creation Investments, Netherlands-based Oikocredit and Spain-based Gawa Capital Partners. All three of the investors were already shareholders in the microlender. Fusion plans to use the cash to invest in

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC Buys $9m in Local-currency Bonds from CRRH-UEMOA to Support Housing Finance in West Africa

The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation has purchased the equivalent of USD 9 million in bonds issued by the mortgage refinancier Caisse Regionale de Refinancement Hypothecaire de l’UEMOA (Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine). The goal of the investment is to catalyze USD 500 million in

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MFIs in Bolivia, Vietnam Borrow $11.5m from C-Quadrat Dual Return Vision Microfinance Fund

Two microfinance institutions (MFIs) – one in Bolivia and one in Vietnam – recently borrowed a total of USD 11.5 million from the Dual Return Vision Microfinance fund, an offering of C-Quadrat Asset Management, which is a unit of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat. The identities of the MFIs and the amount each borrowed remain confidential. C-Quadrat Asset Management did tell MicroCapital that

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Fundacion BBVA MicroFinanzas Continues Buying Equity in Microfinance Institution Financiera Confianza of Peru with responsAbility Transaction

Fundacion BBVA MicroFinanzas, which was launched by Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) in 1998, recently added to its shareholding in Financiera Confianza, a Peruvian microfinance institution (MFI) by purchasing the stake held by Switzerland-based responsAbility Investments. Although the size and price of the holding, which responsAbility began building in 2008, remains confidential, responsAbility reports that it earned “over three

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation Lends $1.2m to DR Congo’s Hekima; Burkina Faso’s SOFIPE, ACFIME

The Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation (GCAF), whose head office is in Luxembourg, recently informed MicroCapital that it has disbursed three-year loans to three microfinance institutions in Africa.

Hekima of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) borrowed USD 530,000 from GCAF. As of 2015, Hekima reports to the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) total assets of USD 3.6 million, loans of USD 2.3 million outstanding to 10,000 borrowers, and deposits of 890,000 held for 12,000 clients. The MFI’s mission includes “contributing to the economic, social and spiritual lives” of DRC’s people.

The Société de Financement de la Petite Entreprise (SOFIPE) of Burkina Faso borrowed the local-currency equivalent of

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: As China Tightens Online Lending Market, Ant Financial Pauses $37b in Annual Sales of Asset-backed Securities; Nexgo, Zhejiang Busen Garments Cancel Plans to Offer Loans

Amid criticism of China’s online lending industry as having “sometimes high interest rates and underhand lending practices,” the nation’s government has taken steps to slow the sector. It has urged local regulators to cease granting approvals to new microloan firms, citing the risk of over-indebtedness. It reportedly has also stopped approving the sales of asset-backed securities by Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group (Ant Financial), which is controlled by Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma. Anonymous sources indicate that such sales could continue for

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Odisha State Encouraging Banks, Microfinance Institutions to Open 656 “Banking Outlets” in Unserved Rural Areas

By March 2019, the eastern Indian state of Odisha is encouraging financial institutions to open “banking outlets” in 656 gram panchayats (villages) that are at least

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Organization Crystal of Georgia, VisionFund’s Monte Credit of Montenegro Borrow $3.6m from Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation

The Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation (GCAF), whose head office is in Luxembourg, recently informed MicroCapital that it has disbursed three-year loans denominated in euros to two microfinance institutions. Crystal Microfinance Organization, a joint stock company in Georgia, borrowed the equivalent of

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation Lends $3.6m in Local Currency to Microfinance Institutions in Indonesia

The Luxembourg-based Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation (GCAF) recently informed MicroCapital that it has disbursed three-year loans denominated in local-currency to two microfinance institutions in Indonesia. Koperasi Mitra Dhuafa (Komida), a cooperative providing savings, loans and training services to women, borrowed the equivalent of

MICROFINANCE PAPER ROUND-UP: Index of Women Entrepreneurs; Investing in Affordable Housing; Comparing Impact, Traditional Investment Returns

“Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2017,” published by Mastercard, March 2017, 31 pages, available at https://newsroom.mastercard.com/eu/files/2017/03/Report-Mastercard-Index-of-Women-Entrepreneurs-2017-Mar-3.pdf

This tool is intended to measure the evolution of women’s participation in business around the world. The authors apply a set of 37 indicators to data from 54 economies to explore the variations in: (1) women’s advancement; (2) knowledge assets and financial access; and (3) supporting entrepreneurial conditions. One of the primary women’s-advancement indicators is the percentage of CEOs and managers that are women in a given country. Six of the top 10 performers are upper-middle-income countries, with Canada and New Zealand being the only

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: responsAbility Agriculture I Fund Takes Equity Stake in Indian Value-chain Lender Samunnati

Switzerland-based responsAbility Investments recently disbursed the first investment from its private equity fund responsAbility Agriculture I, acquiring a “significant” minority stake in Samunnati, a non-banking financial company in India that provides loans and advisory services to players in agricultural value chains. Although the price and size of the stake remain confidential, responsAbility Agriculture I generally places investments of

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Global Parametrics, 6 VisionFund Microfinance Institutions Prepare for Climate Disasters Under African and Asian Resilience in Disaster Insurance Scheme (ARDIS)

Global Parametrics, a for-profit risk manager funded by UK-based and German development institutions, and the UK-based NGO VisionFund International recently established the African and Asian Resilience in Disaster Insurance Scheme (ARDIS), to protect six VisionFund microfinance institutions (MFIs). In case of drought or extreme storm, the MFIs can access up to USD 10 million to manage delays in client repayments and

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sanadcom Launches to Serve SMEs in Jordan, Backed by Microfund for Women, GMS Ventures and Investments

Sanadcom for Business Finance, a lender to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Jordan, recently launched with two “anchor” investors: Microfund for Women, a Jordanian microfinance institution, and GMS Ventures and Investments, a subsidiary of Jordan’s GMS Holdings. Sanadcom has enjoyed “additional equity funding and support” from the Sanad Fund for MSME (micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises), a European investor in North Africa and the Middle East, and

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: C-Quadrat Dual Return Vision Microfinance Funds Invest in Ecuador, 13 Other Countries

C-Quadrat Asset Management, a unit of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, disbursed the equivalent of USD 40 million during December to 15 microfinance institutions (MFIs) from its Dual Return Vision Microfinance funds. The MFIs, whose identities remain confidential, span 14 countries. One is a cooperative located in

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Equator Raises $62m for ShoreCap III from AfDB, CDC, EIB, KfW, OeEB to Invest in Financial Inclusion in Africa

Equator Capital Partners, a US-based manager of “impact” funds, recently announced the first close of its third ShoreCap fund, which will invest in African firms offering services such as microcredit, microinsurance, leasing, housing finance, and banking for small and medium-sized enterprises. Equator is seeking to raise a total of USD 150 million for ShoreCap III to invest over 10 years in about

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sri Lanka’s SANASA Installing 35 Weather Stations, Expanding Index Insurance for Rice Farmers to Pepper, Cinnamon Growers

SANASA Insurance Company Limited, a member of Sri Lanka’s cooperative SANASA group, recently installed the first of 35 weather stations funded by a donation from Desjardins Financial Security, an insurer within the Canadian cooperative Desjardins Group. The stations expand an existing network supporting SANASA Insurance’s provision of index insurance to rice farmers, whereby the farmers are paid when weather conditions are not conducive to healthy crops rather than based on individual insurance claims. The new stations are intended to improve the provision of insurance for rice farmers as well as allowing SANASA Insurance to expand to serving pepper and