African Development Bank (AfDB), a multilateral institution that provides loans and grants to governments and private companies in Africa, recently approved a credit line in the amount of EUR 13 million (USD 17 million) to Société Nigérienne de Banque (Sonibank), a commercial bank in Niger.
The Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB), the long-term lending bank of the European Union (EU), recently announced that it will loan a total of EUR 9 billion (USD 12 billion) by 2020 to institutions in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions through its ACP Investment Facility, a revolving and risk-bearing fund for private sector investment.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria’s central bank and main financial regulator, reportedly has partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), a US-based nonprofit organization, to form a new initiative called “Geospatial Mapping of Financial Institutions” that aims to increase the financial inclusion of low-income Nigerians .
The Sanad Fund for MSME (micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises), an initiative that invests in financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, recently loaned the local-currency equivalent of USD 6 million to Enda Inter-Arabe (Enda), a financial services provider and Tunisia-based arm of non-governmental organization Enda Third-World, to support Enda’s expansion into poor rural areas of Tunisia; increase product offerings to young entrepreneurs; provide financial services to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises; and promote the empowerment of women. The loan is Sanad’s first debt investment in the country .
Standard Bank, a South Africa-based financial services company, recently partnered with Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung (SAP), a Germany-based business software provider, to launch AccessBanking, a new service that enables low-income people in South Africa without access to traditional banking services to set up bank accounts with Standard Bank using their mobile phones .
The Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden NV (FMO), a Dutch development bank that aims to promote growth in the economies of developing countries; the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group that offers assistance to private companies with the goal of alleviating poverty in developing countries; and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau Entwicklungsbank (KfW), a state-owned German development bank, have invested RWF 3.5 billion (USD 5.4 million) in AccessBank Rwanda (ABR), the eighth member of Access Microfinance Holding AG (AccessHolding), a German company that invests in microfinance institutions .
MasterCard, a US-based payment solutions company, recently announced a new partnership with the Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), an initiative of the Nigerian government to enroll all citizens and permanent residents into a national identity database, to produce 13 million “National Identity Smart Cards” that can be used as both identification cards as well as an electronic payment solution.
AG Finance, a Philippines-based microfinance institution (MFI), recently announced that it will embark on an initial public offering (IPO) of PHP 150 million (USD 3.4 million).
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently purchased 300,000 shares at NPR 180 (USD 1.87) per unit from an initial public offering (IPO) by the Rural Microfinance Development Center (RMDC), a Nepal-based wholesale microcredit lender.
The Association of Microfinance Institutions in Uganda (AMFIU), an umbrella organization for Ugandan microfinance institutions (MFIs) and related organizations, recently announced four new partnerships in an effort to support clients affected by HIV and AIDS illnesses in Uganda.
Pasha Bank, an Azerbaijan-based financial services provider, recently underwrote a three-year inaugural bond issue of AZN 10 million (USD 12.7 million) to the Azerbaijan-based subsidiary of the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA), a US-based microfinance network.
The UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) recently loaned EUR 1.5 million (USD 2 million) to Kreditimi Rural i Kosoves Limited Liability Company (KRK), a non-bank microfinance institution (MFI) that serves rural areas in Kosovo, for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and residential clients in Kosovo for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently notified MicroCapital that it will provide a loan of up to USD 1 million to Banco Solidario SA (BancoSol), a Bolivian commercial bank that offers microfinance services, in an effort to improve financial access for farmers and poor rural families in the Bolivian cities of La Paz, Oruro and Potosi .
MFX Solutions, a US-based company that provides currency hedging solutions for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs), recently announced that it is one of eight partners launching the Risk Management Initiative in Microfinance (RIM), which will aim to mitigate challenges MFIs face in risk management; promote best practices; institute global MFI risk management standards; and protect MFIs and their clients from internal and external risks.
Unitus Capital (UC), a Bangalore-based financial services firm that specializes in capital market services for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social enterprises in Asia, recently announced that Gray Matters Capital (GMC), a US-based private foundation, invested an undisclosed amount in UC to fund social businesses that both assist poor clients and generate financial returns.
A working paper commissioned by the Bangladeshi government regarding Grameen Bank, a Bangladeshi microfinance institution founded by Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus, proposes a government takeover of Grameen Bank or a split of the institution into 19 entities. The paper recommends that the Bangladeshi government own 51 percent of the shares of Grameen Bank, an increase from the current 25 percent.
“Alleviating Poverty: Mobile Communications, Microfinance and Small Business Development Around the World;” by Darrell M. West; published by The Brookings Institution; May 2013; 12 pages; available at: http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2013/05/16%20poverty%20mobile%20microfinance%20business%20west/westalleviating%20povertymobile%20comms%20microfinance%20small%20business51613v12.pdf
The UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) recently loaned USD 80 million to Yapi Kredi, a Turkish commercial bank, in an effort to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy investments for small and medium-sized enterprises in Turkey.