Category: Key Players

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mastercard, Unilever to Launch Partnership to Facilitate Growth of Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) with Pilot Project in Kenya

Mastercard, a US-based technology and payments company; and Unilever, a UK-based supplier of consumer goods, recently announced that they will develop a partnership to provide access to digital technologies to small-scale entrepreneurs in developing countries with the aim of helping them buy supplies and sell goods more efficiently. The partnership’s first project will be to spread the use of Mastercard’s digital payment platforms via Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Quona Capital Management Raises $141m for Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund from Chase, MaserCard, AXA, Prudential, MetLife

Quona Capital Management, which is based in the US city of Washington, recently announced that it has raised USD 141 million from multiple investors for the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund (AFIF), a fund backed by the US-based nonprofit Accion and managed by Quona Capital. The participating funders are US-based corporates including JP Morgan Chase & Co., MasterCard, Prudential Financial Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Scott Brown Stepping Down as CEO of VisionFund International

VisionFund International, a UK-based nonprofit with microfinance operations in approximately 30 countries, recently informed MicroCapital that its President and CEO Scott Brown will be leaving the organization at the end of Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: Raising Funds for Non-bank Financial Institutions in Africa

The non-bank financial institution (NBFI) sector, often referred to as the alternative finance sector or the shadow banking sector, around the world is largely dependent on the institutional market for funding. By regulation, NBFIs in most markets are prohibited from gathering deposits or restricted from transactional banking services, which are critical to attract deposits. In most markets, banks themselves are reluctant to lend to NBFIs, given the potential long-term competitive threat. For example, Capitec of South Africa and Equity Bank of Kenya, which are now very much fully-fledged banks, have roots as NBFIs. In South Africa, the deepest and broadest market in Africa, NBFIs have been largely focused on borrowing from the domestic market.

This is not without risks given, for example, the significant reversal in domestic investor sentiment following the collapse of African Bank in August 2014. African Bank’s largest peer, Capitec, was less affected because Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: C-Quadrat’s Dual Return Vision Microfinance Funds Loan $18m in Eurasia, Latin America, Zambia

C-Quadrat Asset Management, an arm of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, recently informed MicroCapital that its Dual Return Vision Microfinance and Dual Return Vision Microfinance-Local Currency funds loaned a total approximately equivalent to USD 17.5 million to unidentified providers of financial services in Cambodia, Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Advise Microfinance Institution (MFI) Agency for Finance of Kosovo (AFK) on Agricultural Services

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that aims to increase economic growth in developing countries, recently announced that it will advise the Agency for Finance (AFK), a microfinance institution (MFI) in Kosovo, on lending strategy and methods to finance the development of the country’s agricultural sector. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO Lends $52.5m to Climate Investor One for Hydro, Solar, Wind Energy Projects in Africa, Asia

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch development bank, recently announced it will loan USD 52.5 million in two transactions to Climate Investor One (CIO), a facility managed by Netherlands-based Climate Fund Managers. The objective of the loan is for CIO to aid in the development Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Asian Development Bank Invests $1.5m in Equity in India’s M-CRIL to Expand Ratings in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Nepal

Micro-Credit Ratings International Limited (M-CRIL), an India-based provider of rating and advisory services to the microfinance industry, recently sold an unspecified portion of its equity to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), a development finance institution with 67 member countries. One goal of the funding is to help M-CRIL expand in Cambodia, China, Indonesia and Nepal. ABD Principal Investment Specialist Anshukant Taneja said the investment will Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroFinanza Rating Issues 10 Institutional, Social Ratings

During February 2017, Italy-based MicroFinanza Rating issued “microfinance institutional ratings” to the following institutions, all with stable outlooks: Indonesia’s Komida, which was assigned a grade of BB; Albania’s NOA, which earned a BBB; Haiti’s ACME, which was assigned a BB+; Vietnam’s Anh Chi Em (ACE), which got a BB-; and two institutions that each received an A-, Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Arise – Founded by Norfund, FMO, Rabobank to Invest in African Financial Services Providers – Buys 28% Equity Stake in Ghana’s CAL Bank from DPI

Arise, an investment company recently launched in South Africa by three European institutions, has paid an undisclosed price to acquire 27.7 percent of the shares of CAL Bank, a publicly traded financial institution in Ghana. Arise bought the stake from Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO Investing $15m in Equity in Sanad Fund for MSME for On-lending in the Middle East, North Africa

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch development bank, recently announced that it will place equity of USD 15 million in the debt sub-fund of the Sanad Fund for MSME (Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise), which disburses “medium- and long-term” loans to financial institutions that serve MSMEs Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: AYo Offers Free Mobile Health, Life Insurance to MTN Phone Subscribers in Uganda: “Recharge with Care” & “Send with Care”

AYo, which is a joint venture between two South African firms, insurer MMI Holdings and the MTN (Mobile Telecommunications Network) Group, recently launched its first two products, both in Uganda: (1) Recharge with Care, which provides life and/or hospitalization insurance when an MTN phone subscriber buys airtime; and (2) Send with Care, which Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Thos Gieskes to Lead Dutch Cooperative Investor Oikocredit

Oikocredit, a Netherlands-based cooperative with financial inclusion, agriculture and renewable energy investments in 71 countries, announced yesterday that Thos Gieskes is taking the position of Managing Director of the organization as of April. David Woods vacated the position in 2016 after joining Oikocredit in 2012. Mr Gieskes has over a decade of experience at Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: 38th Midi de la Microfinance et de l’Inclusion Financière; March 8, 2017; Luxembourg

Event Name: 38th Midi de la Microfinance et de l’Inclusion Financière

Event Date: March 8, 2017

Event Location: Banque de Luxembourg, 14 Boulevard Royal, Luxembourg

Summary of Event: This 38th “Midi,” which is titled “Entreprenante Afrique: The Age of SMEs” consists of a one-hour discussion on the role that investors can play in the development of small and medium-sized enterprises Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vision Microfinance Funds Loan $9m in Ecuador, Honduras

C-Quadrat Asset Management, a unit of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, today informed MicroCapital that its Dual Return Vision Microfinance and Vision Microfinance-Local Currency funds extended credit totaling approximately USD 9 million to Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Learning Forum; May 23-25, 2017; Bangkok, Thailand

Event Name: Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Learning Forum

Event Date: May 23 – 25, 2017

Event Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Summary of Event: This event will offer stakeholders opportunities to discuss achieving “sustainable and scalable development outcomes for very poor and marginalized women.” Speakers will address Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: UN Digital Financial Services Toolkits; 7th IMF Financial Access Survey; IFC, The MasterCard Foundation Mobile Money Handbook

“How to Succeed in Your Digital Journey: a Series of Toolkits for Financial Service Providers”; Published by the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s MicroLead Program; October 2016; available upon request via: https://uncdf.wufoo.com/forms/q4pnwh31pqtp7r/

This first portion of a six-part digital toolkit, which is available in English and French, was designed to benefit microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other financial services providers that aim to offer digital financial services to unbanked populations residing in remote locations. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO, IFC Invest $16m in Equity in Mobisol to Finance Solar Power in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch development bank, recently announced that is placing equity investments totaling EUR 9.2 million (USD 9.9 million) in Mobisol, a Germany-based provider of solar home systems in East Africa. The investments are funded by two entities FMO manages in partnership with the Dutch government: MASSIF and the Access to Energy Fund. These investments were accompanied by an equity placement of EUR 5.4 million (USD 5.8 million) by Continue reading

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