Category: Middle East

SPECIAL REPORT: Over-indebtedness, Microfinance and Environment Award, Conflict Zones at e-MFP’s European Microfinance Week

MicroCapital: Please describe one of the key issues to be covered this year at European Microfinance Week.

Christoph Pausch: The question of over-indebtedness is still the major risk for the sector, as identified in the most recent Banana Skins survey. We had a very successful plenary last year exploring the issue from a research perspective. This year, we’re taking a very different approach by bringing CEOs of leading microfinance institutions (MFIs) from three countries – Bangladesh, Morocco, and Mexico – to discuss how they’ve been dealing with the issue. Each of these countries has had a different experience, with Bangladesh having successfully averted a potential crisis by slowing market growth (as described in an excellent paper by Stuart Rutherford and Greg Chen). Morocco was one of the original “microfinance crisis” countries during 2008 and 2009, and the MFIs there have had an interesting experience in resolving the problems from that period. Finally, Mexico is a major market with serious concerns regarding over-indebtedness, and MFIs there are working to avert a potential crisis. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Loans $2m to Al Majmoua of Lebanon for On-Lending to Small Businesses, Female Entrepreneurs

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the World Bank Group, has announced that it will loan USD 2 million to Al Majmoua, a Lebanese nongovernmental organization (NGO) that is also known as the Lebanese Association for Development. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Investment Bank, Tunisian-Kuwaiti Bank, Tunis Entrepreneurship Network Plan to Loan $52m to Tunisian Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the Luxembourg-based long-term lending bank of the European Union (EU); the Banque Tuniso-Koweitienne [Tunisian-Kuwaiti Bank] (BTK), a financial institution founded by the governments of Tunisia and Kuwait; and the Tunis Entrepreneurship Network (TEN), an association that assists entrepreneurs and small businesses in Tunisia, reportedly have announced a draft agreement to finance micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Tunisia. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sodexo, Bluedrop Learning, Global Impact Announce Commitments to Middle East, Women-Owned Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) at 10th Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

The tenth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of US-based nonprofit Clinton Foundation, is being held in the US city of New York from September 21-24, and has entertained new commitments as well as progress reports on earlier commitments to address global challenges [1][2]: Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Sanabel 2014 Conference : “Microfinance at Crossroads : Current Developments and Future Prospects in the Arab States”, September 29-30, 2014, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Event Name: Sanabel 2014 Conference : Microfinance at Crossroads : Current Developments and Future Prospects in the Arab States

Event Date: September 29 – September 30, 2014

Event Location: Intercontinental – Festival City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Green for Growth Fund, Southeast Europe (GGF) Lends $20m to Yapi Kredi Leasing of Turkey to Support Use of Energy-Efficient Equipment

The Green for Growth Fund, Southeast Europe (GGF), a Germany-based fund that invests in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources in Southeast Europe, has loaned EUR 15 million (USD 19.9 million) to Yapi Kredi Leasing, a Turkey-based subsidiary of Turkey’s Yapi Kredi Bank, with the aim of expanding Yapi Kredi’s “sustainable long-term energy efficient equipment financing.” Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Likely to Loan $150m in Jordan Including to Bank Al Etihad, Cairo Amman Bank for On-lending to Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in London, is considering setting up a senior unsecured credit facility in the amount of USD 150 million for banks in Jordan for on-lending to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics to Host 4th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum, November 1-4, 2014, Dubai, UAE

Event Name: 4th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum

Event Date: Conference: November 1-2, 2014; Post-conference workshop: November 3-4, 2014

Event Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates  Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Effects of Female Leadership on Microfinance Institutions (MFIs); Impact of Microcredit in Morocco; Social Performance Management Guide

Female Leadership, Performance, and Governance in Microfinance Institutions;” by Reidar Øystein Strøm, Bert D’Espallier and Roy Mersland; published by Elsevier; 2014; 16 pages; available for purchase at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378426614000284

This report examines the relationship between the performance of microfinance institutions (MFIs) and whether women occupy high management positions, including CEO, chair or director, in those MFIs. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Microfinance “Banana Skins” Risk Assessment; Effects of Microloans from Compartamos in Mexico; Youth Financial Inclusion Video

“Microfinance Banana Skins 2014: Facing Reality;” published by Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation; July 2014; 84 pages; available athttp://csfi.org/files/Microfinance_Banana_Skins_2014_-_WEB.pdf

This report, which is based on data collected by surveying 306 people associated with the microfinance industry, examines 19 risks faced by microfinance institutions (MFIs) across the globe. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Biniog Sathi Banking Model Employs Islamic Concept of Zakat in Effort to Minimize Credit Default

Mabroor Mahmood, who operates the online “Ideas for Development” think tank, recently began selling his Biniog Sathi banking model, which incorporates Zakat, a Muslim practice of giving charity, to protect against credit default [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: “Harry Potter” Cinema Actress Emma Watson to Serve as Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations (UN) Women

United Nations (UN) Women, the UN organization “dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women,” has announced Emma Watson, a British actress, will serve as Goodwill Ambassador for the organization. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Pakistan-based Microfinance Institution (MFI) Wasil Foundation Wins $100k Islamic Microfinance Challenge 2014

The Wasil Foundation (Wasil), a nonprofit that aims to alleviate poverty through enterprise development in Pakistan, has won the 2014 Islamic Microfinance Challenge, a competition that promotes Sharia-compliant microfinance products, which prohibit interest payments in keeping with Islamic practices. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Commits $15m to Private Equity Fund EuroMena III to Support Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Middle East, North Africa

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the World Bank Group, reportedly has committed USD 15 million to EuroMena III, a 7-year closed-end private equity fund that aims to invest in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Microcredit Summit Campaign Report; responsAbility Financial, Social Impact Assessment; Microinsurance Education in Zambia

“Resilience: The State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign Report, 2014;” published by RESULTS Educational Fund; 2014; 68 pages; available in web format at http://stateofthecampaign.org/2014-report-executive-summary/or for purchase as a PDF or in print form at http://www.scribd.com/doc/229959504/Resilience-The-State-of-the-Microcredit-Summit-Campaign-Report-2014

This report examines the reach and effectiveness of microfinance institutions (MFIs) on a global scale using data as recent as from 2012. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Egypt Approves Microfinance Law in Effort to Expand Access to Microcredit, Bring Microenterprises into Formal Economy

The government of Egypt reportedly has approved a new law that will expand informal businesses’ access to loans of up to EGP 100,000 (USD 13,985) by enabling non-bank microfinance institutions (MFIs) to enter the formal microfinance sector, which had been restricted to banks and NGOs. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF) Loans $2m to Cambodian Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea; Invests $546k in Equity in Palestinian Arab Center for Agricultural Development

The Luxembourg-based Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), which provides financial services to “social businesses,” recently informed MicroCapital that it has provided a three-year loan of EUR 1.5 million (USD 2.05 million) to Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea Company Limited (AMK), a microfinance institution located in Cambodia. Continue reading

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