Category: Latin America

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Multi-year Sentences Handed Down for Attack on Staff of Nicaraguan Microfinance Institution Local Development Fund

The Faster Times website has reported that nine Nicaraguan farmers were sentenced to prison terms of three to five years for attacking staff of the Local Development Fund, a Nicaraguan microfinance institution. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Erste Bank Group of Austria Launches Microfinance Fund

Erste Group Bank (EGB), an Austria-based financial services provider with over EUR 201.4 billion (USD 295.2 billion) in total assets, has launched the ESPA VINIS Microfinance Fund. The fund will focus on microfinance in emerging markets, particularly South-East Asia, South America and Eastern Europe. It will invest directly in microfinance bonds as well as other microfinance funds. Further financial information has not been released. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Fundación BBVA Microfinanzas, Microfinance Arm of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), to Begin Operating in Brazil and Mexico

Fundación BBVA Microfinanzas, the microfinance arm of the Spanish commercial bank, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), has announced that it “will begin operating in tandem with [unspecified] local partners in Brazil and Mexico in 2010″ [1,2,3]. This comes soon after an announcement that BBVA Microfinanzas will “create a microfinance joint venture” with Credicoop, a Chilean cooperative bank [1,4]. BBVA Microfinanzas has already launched microfinance initiatives in Colombia, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Central America through an agreement with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (Cabei), “a multilateral bank and financial arm” founded by the nations of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica [1,3]. It also plans to begin a similar initiative in Argentina [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Provides $17.5m Loan Facility to Dominican Commercial Bank ‘Banco BHD’ to Lend to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which provides multilateral financing in Latin America and the Caribbean, has extended a USD 17.5 million loan to Banco BHD, a commercial bank based in the Dominican Republic, in order to “strengthen its capital position and expand its long-term lending to the corporate sector, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)” [1,2,3]. The facility is made up of a USD 5 million loan with a five-year tenor and a USD 12.5 million loan with an eight-year tenor [1]. The USD 12.5 million loan will be extended in conjunction with an unspecified third party [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Information Exchange Releases Benchmarking Reports on Central America, Nicaragua and Azerbaijan

The nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) recently released three of its benchmarking reports. Two of these were produced in Spanish in cooperation with REDCAMIF, the Central American Microfinance Network: the 2009 Central America Microfinance Analysis and Benchmarking Report, which covers 78 microfinance institutions (MFIs) and the 2009 Nicaragua Microfinance Analysis and Benchmarking Report, which includes coverage of the impact of the “No Pago” movement. The 2009 Azerbaijan Microfinance Analysis and Benchmarking Report was produced in English in cooperation with the Azerbaijan Microfinance Association (AMFA). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: The International Labour Organization’s (ILO’s) Microinsurance Innovation Facility Opens Fourth Round of Innovation Grants

To spur the development of innovative microinsurance products, the International Labour Organization’s (ILO’s) Microinsurance Innovation Facility has opened its fourth round of grant funding. Since “insurance providers often lack the know how to reach this market and need to experiment to develop sustainable business models…[these] grants are there to support those risk takers, cover their start up costs and harness lessons learnt,” said Craig Churchill, team leader of the Microinsurance Innovation Facility. Since its founding in 2008, the Facility has provided 34 innovation grants, ranging from USD 20,000 to USD 600,000, to insurance companies, cooperatives, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other microinsurance providers. The deadline for the fourth round of grant proposals is March 2nd, 2010. More information can be found at www.ilo.org/microinsurance. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Provides $25m Loan to ProCredit Holding to Lend to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an “independent U.S. government agency” that provides services to facilitate foreign investment to “less developed countries,” has approved a loan of USD 25 million to ProCredit Holding, “a [German] parent company of 22 development-oriented banks” operating in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa with a gross loan portfolio of EUR 3.3 billion, the equivalent of over USD 4.9 billion, as of the end of 2008 [1,2,3]. This loan will be used by ProCredit to expand their loan provision to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) [1]. MicroCapital reported on a 2005 loan from OPIC to ProCredit worth USD 30 million [4]. OPIC also made a USD 3 million loan to a ProCredit microfinance institution (MFI) in Moldova in 2005, and a USD 5 million loan to ProCredit Bank in Ukraine in the same year [5,6]. OPIC Acting President Dr. Lawrence Spinelli has commented on the importance of the latest loan in terms of allowing ProCredit to “diversify its capital base” [1]. Continue reading

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KNOW A MICROFINANCE REGULATOR: Regulators of Microfinance in Bangladesh, India, Brazil, Bolivia, Egypt And Kenya

The following regulators are profiled in this brief:

Bangledesh – Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA), located at: http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Microcredit+Regulatory+Authority+%28MRA%29

India – National Bank of Agriculature and Rural Development (NABARD), located at: http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=National+Bank+of+Agriculature+and+Rural+Development+%28NABARD%29

Brazil – Central Bank of Brazil (BCB), located at: http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Central+Bank+of+Brazil+%28BCB%29

Bolivia – Superindendent of Banks and Financial Entities (SBEF), located at: http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Superindendent+of+Banks+and+Financial+Entities+%28SBEF%29

Egypt – Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), located at: http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Central+Bank+of+Egypt+%28CBE%29

Kenya – Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), located at: http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0Adr0wzXJKlP0ZGZiN3dwYnFfMzlocDhnZHZmNQ&hl=en Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL EVENT: MicroInsurance Summit 2010: Evaluating Stategies for Delivery, Partner-Agent Models and Scalability, February 23-25, 2010, Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

Event Name: MicroInsurance Summit 2010: Evaluating Stategies for Delivery, Partner-Agent Models and Scalability

Event Date: February 23-25, 2010

Event Location: Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

Event Website: http://www.hansonwade.com/events/microinsurance-summit-2010/index.shtml

See Our Comprehensive Event Calendar Here:
http://microfinanceassociation.ning.com/events Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: Insurance in Developing Countries: Exploring Opportunities in Microinsurance, by Lloyd’s 360 Risk Insight and MicroInsurance Centre L.L.C.

Published by Lloyd’s 360 Risk Insight and the MicroInsurance Centre in November 2009, 38 pages, available at: http://www.lloyds.com/NR/rdonlyres/5CFE7CAF-0075-415C-B0F2-BEBF0323059E/0/Microinsurancereport_Nov2009.pdf

Produced by Lloyd’s, an insurance and reinsurance market, and the MicroInsurance Centre, a consulting and advocacy company, this report describes the current landscape of microinsurance and lays out the means and benefits of entering this emerging market. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC), European Commission and Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs Launch ‘Global Index Insurance Facility’ to Expand Access to Microinsurance

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), European Commission and Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently announced the launch of the Global Index Insurance Facility (GIIF), a reinsurance vehicle aimed to mitigate catastrophic risks in developing countries. Index-based insurance provides policies that pay a set amount in the event of a measurable occurrence of a natural disaster, e.g. an earthquake registering a certain magnitude or a drought that has lasted for a certain number of days. The objective of the Facility is to “assist in the development of a truly global market for index-based insurance instruments” by providing four main functions: market intermediation, risk pooling, limited holding of risk or “risk warehousing,” and market development. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Information Exchange Releases Worldwide Benchmark Data, Plus Reports on Tajikistan and Ecuador

The Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) recently released “2008 MFI Benchmarks” covering financial and performance data from 1084 microfinance institutions (MFIs) worldwide, reflecting the impact of the financial downturn. Blaine Stephens, COO and director of analysis at MIX said, “By the end of 2008, MFI growth rates had already begun to slow, leaving MFIs faced with higher operating costs.” He attributed part of these costs to . “Increasing portfolio arrears in a number of markets shift[ing] the focus of MFI staff from making productive new loans to instead following up with current clients to encourage them to make payments.” Also newly available are reports covering 104 institutions providing microfinance in Tajikistan and 47 MFIs in Ecuador. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: ACCION Cleared to Invest in Brazil’s Microfinance Sector

ACCION International has reportedly received approval from President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to operate in Brazil. The US-based nonprofit will be allowed to hold 99 percent of the Brazilian operations of its Gateway Fund, which holds shares in microfinance institutions in Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL.ORG BRIEF: Financiera Independencia of Mexico Unveils Plans to Acquire Financiera Finsol and Expand Microfinance Operations to Brazil

Financiera Independencia, a microfinance institution (MFI) traded on the Mexican Stock Exchange, has signed a USD 41 million (MXP 530 million) agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Finsol, a Mexican MFI. The agreement also includes the acquisition of three related entities: Financiera Popular Finsol, a savings and loan entity; Finsol Vida, an insurance broker; Finsol, a service company; and Instituto Finsol Brazil, an MFI in Brazil. To finance the deal, Financiera Independencia plans to issue 85 million shares, which will provide about USD 23.2 million (MXN 300 million) in capital. Mr. Noel Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer of Financiera Independencia, said: “This is a significant milestone for Independencia. The acquisition of Finsol will allow us to increase our client base close to 1.4 million clients, operate a total of 356 branches in Mexico and expand our total outstanding loan portfolio to MXP 5,588 million (USD 432.7 million).” Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL.ORG BRIEF: Faulu Advisory Services of Kenya has Acquired Trustmark Insurance to Diversify Services, Provide Microinsurance

Faulu Advisory Services (FAS), a fully owned subsidiary of Faulu Kenya, has acquired Trustmark Insurance Brokers in an effort to include microinsurance among its microfinance services. The price of the acquisition has not been disclosed. Faulu Kenya is a deposit taking microfinance company, which, until now, has offered credit and savings products for low-income Kenyans. FAS provides business advisory services for the microfinance industry. Mr. George Maina, CEO of FAS, commented, “It’s a strategic move on our side to venture into insurance brokerage. For now, we shall continue offering services that the brokerage used to have,” which include life and health insurance. According to the Business Daily, less than a million Kenyans currently have life insurance coverage, representing a 2.5 percent penetration rate. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bolivian Microfinance Institution BancoSol Places Local Currency Bond Worth $7m

Bolivia’s BancoSol has issued seven-year bonds worth USD 7.12 million, at approximately 4 percent interest, on the La Paz market. The issue is planned as the first in a line worth USD 26 million. The issue was rated AA2 by Moody’s. BancoSol reports 125,900 customers and a loan book of USD 335 million. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL EVENT: “Climate Change, Food Security and Resilience of Food and Agricultural Systems in Developing Countries: Mitigation and Adaptation Options,” Featuring Discussion on Microinsurance, November 25 – 27, 2010, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany

Event Name: Climate Change, Food Security and Resilience of Food and Agricultural Systems in Developing Countries: Mitigation and Adaptation Options

Event Date: November 25 – 27, 2010

Event Location: The University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany

See Our Comprehensive Event Calendar Here:

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MICROCAPITAL EVENT: International Disaster and Risk Conference, “From Thoughts to Action,” May 30 – June 3, 2010, Davos, Switzerland

Event Name: International Disaster and Risk Conference: “From Thoughts to Action”

Event Date: May 30 – June 3, 2010

Event Location: The Davos Congress Centre, Promenade 92 7270 Davos Platz, Davos, Switzerland

Event Website: http://www.idrcdavos2010.org/

See Our Comprehensive Event Calendar Here:

http://microfinanceassociation.ning.com/events Continue reading

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