MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: responsAbility Makes Debt Investments Worth $5m in Contactar of Colombia, FODEMI of Ecuador, FINCA Mexico and Edpyme Raiz of Peru

responsAbility Social Investments AG, an investment company based in Switzerland, recently reported to MicroCapital that it made five investments totaling USD 5.3 million in four microfinance institutions (MFI) in Mexico and South America.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and Federacion Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Credito (FENACOAC) of Guatemala Partner to Launch Savings Guarantee Fund

The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), a US-based global trade association for credit unions, and the Federacion Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Credito (FENACOAC), an association of credit unions and cooperatives in Guatemala, have partnered to launch Mi Cooperativa (MICOOPE) Savings Guarantee Fund, a private deposit insurance institution aiming to serve FENACOAC holders of savings and share accounts in Guatemala.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC), Confederación de Cámaras Industriales de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (CONCAMIN) and Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey Partner To Launch Web-Based Toolkit for Mexico

The International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Confederación de Cámaras Industriales de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (CONCAMIN), a group of organizations designed to promote the development of Mexico’s manufacturers and entrepreneurs; and the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, a technological university in Monterrey, Mexico, have partnered to launch the SME Toolkit Integrapyme in Mexico, a web-based toolkit that has been used since 2006 in other countries to assist managers of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: As Microfinance in Peru Continues to Grow, BBVA Continental to Acquire Financiera Confianza

The Daily Finance newspaper of the US reports that Peru’s highly competitive microlending market has helped drop interest rates while increasing average loan size, which stands at USD 1,300 as of 2009, an increase from approximately USD 1,000 in 2006, according to the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), the microfinance information clearinghouse.

MICROCAPITAL PAPER WRAP-UP: Microfinance and Gender: Is There a Glass Ceiling in Loan Size? By Isabelle Agier and Ariane Szafarz, published by Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and Universite Libre de Bruxelles

By Isabelle Agier and Ariane Szafarz, published by Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and Universite Libre de Bruxelles, March 2010, 37 pages, available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1573872

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Eyeing International Expansion, Mexican Microfinance Bank Compartamos Banco Directs Shares to Holding Company

Mexican microfinance bank Compartamos Banco recently announced that it plans to transfer its shares into the newly created holding company Compartamos SAB through an exchange offer.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Haitian Microfinance Industry Still Struggling in Wake of Earthquake, Increased Regulation on the Horizon

Ten months after the major earthquake that rattled Haiti in January 2010, microfinance institutions (MFIs) and banks still struggle to regain clients, manage late payments and deal with increasing loan defaults. New industry regulation is also expected after requests to the government from MFIs and banks that are concerned that their clients’ money is not well-protected in case of financial institution default.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Investment Manager BlueOrchard Invests $5.5m in Fondo de Desarrollo Local (FDL) of Nicaragua, First Allied Savings and Loans Limited (FASL) of Ghana and AB Microfinance Bank of Nigeria

BlueOrchard Finance SA, a subsidiary of Switzerland-based commercial microfinance intermediary BlueOrchard, reported to MicroCapital the details of three debt investments made to microfinance institution (MFI) Nitlapan’s Credit Program Fondo de Desarrollo Local (FDL) of Nicaragua (MFI), First Allied Savings and Loans Limited (FASL), an MFI in Ghana, and the commercial AB Microfinance Bank of Nigeria.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Venezuela to Implement Universal and Microfinance Banking and De-Commercialize Current Financial System

Venezuela’s new financial infrastructure, recently approved by the National Assembly, will replace the General Law on Banks and establish universal banking, microfinance banking and money exchange offices that will launch at an unspecified date.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Foundation Announces Creation of Bankers Without Borders (BwB) Alliance Program to Expand Microfinance Institution (MFI) Volunteering Initiative

Grameen Foundation, a US-based nonprofit, has announced the creation of the Alliance Program, within its Bankers Without Borders initiative, which will focus on increasing volunteerism in the microfinance and development technology sectors in Asia and Latin America.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: responsAbility Social Investments Makes Debt Investments Totaling $6.5m in Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) COAC Progreso of Ecuador, Pagasa of the Philippines and Vision Banco of Paraguay

responsAbility Social Investments AG (responsAbility), an investment manager based in Switzerland, reported to MicroCapital that it has provided a total of USD 6.5 million in debt financing to COAC Progreso, Pagasa and Vision Banco.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vice President of the Economic Commission of Nicaragua Urges the Passing of a Microfinance Law in Wake of “No Pago” Movement, Liquidation of Microfinance Institution Banco del Exito’s (Banex)

The Vice President of the Economic Commission of the National Assembly of Nicaragua, Freddy Torres, reportedly warned Nicaragua’s citizens in November 2010 that the country may lose up to USD 400 million if a microfinance law promoting regulation is not approved before year’s end.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Social Investment Company responsAbility Invests $4.3m in Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Caja Municipal de Ahorro y Crédito (CMAC) Ica, Proempresa and Fair Trade Group Asociación de Comités de Productores Agropecuarios (ACOPAGRO), All of Peru

responsAbility Social Investments AG (responsAbility), an investment manager founded in 2003 in Switzerland, reported to MicroCapital that it made three debt investments totaling USD 4.3 million in microfinance institutions (MFIs) Caja Municipal de Ahorro y Crédito (CMAC) Ica, Proempresa, and Asociación de Comités de Productores Agropecuarios (ACOPAGRO), all of Peru.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Investment Manager BlueOrchard Finance Invests $8m in Caja Municipal de Ahorro y Crédito (CMAC) Ica and Crear Arequipa of Peru, Pro Mujer Bolivia and Fundación para el Desarrollo Socioeconómico Rural (FUNDESER) of Nicaragua

BlueOrchard Finance SA, a subsidiary of Switzerland-based commercial microfinance intermediary BlueOrchard, recently reported to MicroCapital the details of four debt investments made during the month of September 2010 to microfinance institutions (MFIs) Caja Municipal de Ahorro y Crédito (CMAC) Ica and Crear Arequipa of Peru, the Bolivian operations of Pro Mujer and Fundación para el Desarrollo Socioeconómico Rural (FUNDESER) of Nicaragua.

MICROCAPITAL PAPER WRAP-UP: Microfinance Investment Vehicle (MIV) Survey Market Data and Peer Group Analysis: The 2010 CGAP MIV Survey, by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor)

By Symbiotics, published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), August 2010, 42 pages, available at:
http://www.cgap.org/gm/document-1.9.47373/CGAP_2010_MIV_Survey_Report.pd…

CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) has recently published its fourth annual survey of microfinance vehicles (MIVs) offering two levels of analysis: (1) key market trends from 90 microfinance investment intermediaries (MII) and (2) market data, benchmarks and performance analysis of 73 MIVs, a sub-group of the MIIs, organized into six peer groups.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (CBHF) Releases $1.5m in Grants to Microfinance Institution (MFI) Fonkoze and Gheskio of Haiti

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (CBHF), a disaster relief organization founded to alleviate the effects of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, has announced the release of approximately USD 1.5 million in grants to Fonkoze, a microfinance institution established in 1995 in Haiti, and Les Centres Gheskio (Gheskio), an NGO established in 1982 to fight fatal diseases in Haiti.