Category: Middle East

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: 16 Additional Institutions Commit to World Bank’s Goal of Achieving Universal Financial Access by 2020

The US-based multilateral World Bank Group (WBG) recently announced that 16 additional financial institutions have committed to partner to work toward “universal financial access” (UFA) by 2020, bringing the size of the group to 30 organizations. The new partners, which have committed to helping a total of 168 million people open new transaction accounts by 2020, are:

(1) the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, which operates in Africa, Asia and the Middle East;
(2) Ant Financial (Ali Baba Group) of China; Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Islamic Development Bank’s ICD, Gabon’s CDC to Launch Fund Aimed at Growing SMEs in Central Africa

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), a development finance institution of the Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations Deposit (CDC), a financial institution backed by the government of Gabon, recently announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding for the creation of a private equity fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Gabon and elsewhere in Central Africa. Continue reading

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Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Islamic Development Bank’s ICD, Gabon’s CDC to Launch Fund Aimed at Growing SMEs in Central Africa Posted in Africa, Deals, Middle East

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Investment Bank, World Bank Partner to “Boost MENA,” Supporting First-time Entrepreneurs in the Middle East, North Africa

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the Luxembourg-based long-term lender of the European Union (EU), and the US-based multilateral World Bank Group (WBG) recently announced a joint initiative, Boost MENA, to support “first-time entrepreneurs”, particularly women and young people, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: Kashf Foundation of Pakistan Wins $106k European Microfinance Award for Supporting “Low-cost” Private Schools

The Kashf Foundation, a Pakistani nonprofit providing microfinance services and advocacy on social issues, won the seventh European Microfinance Award last night for its support of private schools that serve students from low-income families. In addition to financing the schools, Kashf provides training in areas ranging from classroom management to human resources. The organization also assists Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: Uniting Refugees, Locals via Lending Groups: European Microfinance Week Opens in Luxembourg

Among today’s opening meetings of European Microfinance Week was a working session on the financial inclusion of refugees that was organized by the US-based nonprofit Social Performance Task Force (SPTF) and the Luxembourgish nonprofit European Microfinance Platform (e-EMP). Lene Hansen, a consultant to SPTF, offered evidence to counter some of the common misconceptions discouraging microfinance institutions (MFIs) and their funders from serving refugees. Key among these is Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC, AFD, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women to Guarantee $5m in SME Lending by Lebanon’s BLC Bank

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, and Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the international development arm of the French government, recently launched the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) SME Risk Sharing Facility, through which the organizations will guarantee loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), 20 percent of which are to be issued to enterprises owned and operated by women. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: JazzCash Mobile Money Users in Pakistan to Gain Access to Merchants Accepting Visa Cards

JazzCash, a mobile money service of Pakistan-based cellular phone network Mobilink, and Visa, a US-based payment technology company, recently announced that JazzCash Mobile Account customers will be able to make purchases from the millions of merchants worldwide that accept Visa payment cards, including approximately 50,000 retail outlets in Pakistan. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EBRD, USAID to Cooperate on Boosting Private Sector Development in Regions Including Eurasia, Middle East, North Africa

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in London, England, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a government agency that provides international economic and humanitarian assistance, recently signed a “Framework for Cooperation” detailing a plan to boost private sector development in regions in which both organizations operate. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Guatemala’s Fundación Génesis Empresarial, Pakistan’s Kashf Foundation, Opportunity Bank of Uganda Named as Finalists for Education Edition of $112k European Microfinance Award

The European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), a network of European microfinance stakeholders working in developing countries, recently announced that three finalists for the 7th European Microfinance Award have been selected from 30 applicants: (1) Fundación Génesis Empresarial of Guatemala; (2) Kashf Foundation of Pakistan; and (3) Opportunity Bank of Uganda. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: VisionFund Selects BankBI’s Cloud-Based Software to Manage Microfinance Institutions in 32 Countries

VisionFund International, the microfinance arm of US-based NGO World Vision, recently selected UK-based BankBI Limited’s business intelligence and analytics software to manage its operations in 32 countries. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: AlHuda CIBE, Akhuwat to Host Sixth Global Islamic Microfinance Forum, November 8-11, 2016, Nairobi, Kenya

Event Name: Sixth Global Islamic Microfinance Forum: “Financial Inclusion, Outreach Strategies and Innovations”

Event Dates: Conference: November 8-9, 2016; Post-Conference Workshop: November 10-11, 2016

Event Location: Nairobi, Kenya Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sanad Fund for MSME Announces $10m Loan to Moroccan Microfinance Institution Albaraka

The Sanad Fund for MSME (Micro Small and Medium Enterprises), a provider of loans and equity to financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, recently announced a partnership with Albaraka, a Moroccan microfinance institution (MFI), Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sanad Fund Loans $10m to NBK-Egypt for SMEs

The Sanad Fund for MSME (micro-, small and medium-sized enterprise), a Luxembourg-based partnership that provides loans to financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, recently loaned USD 10 million to National Bank of Kuwait-Egypt (NBK-Egypt), the Egyptian unit of NBK. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EIB Pledges Venture Capital to Microfinance Institutions, Microfinance Investment Vehicles Operating in the Southern Mediterranean

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the long-term lending institution of the European Union (EU), recently pledged to create a venture capital scheme to support microfinance institutions and microfinance investment vehicles operating in the Middle East and North Africa within the next four months. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institution Alif Capital of Tajikistan Receives Banking License

Alif-Sarmoya (Alif Capital) Micro Credit Deposit Organization LLC recently has been approved by the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) to provide banking services in both hard currency and somoni, the currency of Tajikistan. Specifically, Alif Capital can now receive deposits, transfer money and conduct currency exchange operations. While the organization had been microlending, it is unclear whether Alif Capital was already providing any of these other services before the license was approved by NBT. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank Group’s Azerbaijan-Central Asia Financial Markets Infrastructure Project III to Unify Credit Data to Support Lending Based on Movable Collateral in Tajikistan

The World Bank Group, a multilateral financial institution serving developing countries, has launched the “Azerbaijan-Central Asia Financial Markets Infrastructure Project III”, the third phase of a project which includes an effort to improve the efficiency of the credit reporting system in Tajikistan. Specifically, the new credit system will allow Tajikistan’s credit reporting providers to offer data through a combined platform, allowing lenders to analyze loan risks using credit histories gleaned from multiple credit bureaus at one time. The project, which is being carried out in cooperation with the National Bank of Tajikistan, the central bank of the country, and the government of Tajikistan, is meant to promote the use of movable assets as collateral for lending and also includes efforts to expand financial education. Continue reading

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Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank Group’s Azerbaijan-Central Asia Financial Markets Infrastructure Project III to Unify Credit Data to Support Lending Based on Movable Collateral in Tajikistan Posted in Middle East

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Middle East Global Advisors (MEGA) to Host 2nd International Forum on Islamic Finance (IFIF), February 9-10, 2016, Khartoum, Sudan

Event Name: 2nd International Forum on Islamic Finance

Event Dates: February 9-10, 2016

Event Location: Al Salam Rotana Hotel, Khartoum, Sudan Continue reading

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