MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Using Subsidies for Inclusive Insurance: Lessons from Agriculture and Health;” by Ruth Vargas Hill, Gissele Gajate-Garrido, Caroline Phily, and Aparna Dalal; Published by International Labour Organization

“Using Subsidies for Inclusive Insurance: Lessons from Agriculture and Health;” by Ruth Vargas Hill, Gissele Gajate-Garrido, Caroline Phily, and Aparna Dalal; published by International Labour Organization; January 2014; 55 pages; available at http://www.microinsurancefacility.org/publications/mp29

This report was published by the Microinsurance Innovation Facility, a nonprofit research institution housed within the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) that promotes the development of insurance products and risk-mitigation markets in developing economies.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Public Investment Corporation of South Africa Among Those Demanding Resignation of Thierry Tanoh, CEO of Togo-Based EcoBank

Mr Thierry Tanoh, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Togo-based EcoBank Transnational Incorporated (EcoBank), has been called to step down due to allegations of being “unfit to lead” the bank [1].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MFX Solutions, Fonds pour l’Inclusion Financière en République Démocratique Congo to Provide Technical Assistance to Banks, Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

MFX Solutions, a US-based company that provides currency hedging solutions for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs), recently announced that it has entered into a two-year technical assistance partnership with Fonds pour l’inclusion financière en république démocratique Congo, a nonprofit microlending organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that is known by its English acronym FPM, in an effort to help financial institutions better manage risks.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Microfinance Institutions Trident, Bhartiya Samruddhi Finance Limited (BSFL) May Close Due to Lack of Funds

Trident Microfin Private Limited, a microfinance institution (MFI) in India, reportedly may shut down operations after being denied a loan write-down and additional funding from a forum of 21 lenders in the Indian state Andhra Pradesh.

SPECIAL REPORT: Why Microfinance Institutions Offer Unprofitable Housing Loans

On November 14, the closing day of the European Microfinance Platform’s (e-MFP’s) European Microfinance Week, Wilson Twamuhabwa, CEO of Uganda’s Ugafode Microfinance Limited, explained that his organization began to offer housing loan products partly because its clients were using 30 percent of their loans for housing anyway.

SPECIAL REPORT: Overcoming Barriers to Agricultural Microfinance

At European Microfinance Week, which is hosted by Luxembourg’s 140-member European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), Daniela Rottger, a consultant to German development finance institution Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), spoke Wednesday about her study of the agricultural lending products offered by several African banks and microlenders.

SPECIAL REPORT: Women Microfinance Clients Often Save More, Are More Loyal to Lenders

At today’s session on gender at European Microfinance Week in Luxembourg, panelists eschewed the idea that lenders have a moral obligation to serve a greater proportion of women. Instead, Anne-Marie Chidzero of South Africa and Anna Gincherman of the US-based Women’s World Banking (WWB) network both argued strenuously that lenders are leaving money on the table by failing to reach out to women.

SPECIAL REPORT: Michael Chu: “Disrupt this Old Model to Unlock the Potential of Microfinance”

At today’s opening plenary of European Microfinance Week, which is hosted by Luxembourg’s 140-member European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), Michael Chu of the US-based Harvard Business School and the Mexico-based venture capital fund Ignia, argued that microfinance is generally implemented using a 20-year-old model that is inefficient and “ripe for disruption” through technology.

SPECIAL REPORT: “Making Microfinance Investment Responsible” Group Wrestles with Inconsistent Data Reporting at European Microfinance Week

On this first day of European Microfinance Week, which is hosted by the 140-member European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) of Luxembourg, e-MFP’s “Making Microfinance Investment Responsible” Action Group convened to work on the data it has collected on client protection from 10 microfinance investors, rating agencies and NGOs.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Développement International Desjardins (DID) Invests in Microfinance Currency Hedging Company MFX Solutions

Développement International Desjardins (DID), a nonprofit organization based in Canada that provides technical support and investment for development finance in emerging economies, has invested an unspecified amount in US-based MFX Solutions, a company that provides currency hedging solutions for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs) [1].

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Lessons Learned from Morocco’s Microcredit Crisis; Using Microinsurance to Promote Universal Coverage; Remittances and Post-Conflict Economic Growth

“Lessons Learned from the Moroccan Crisis;” by Nadine Chehade and Alice Negre; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); 2013; 4 pages; available at http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/Brief-Lessons-Learned-from-the-Moroccan-Crisis-July-2013_0.pdf

This report presents the results of a study conducted by US-based NGO CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) that explored the Moroccan microcredit downturn, focusing on outlining “lessons learned from the rise, fall, and ongoing recovery of the Moroccan microcredit sector that may be useful when adapted in other countries in similar situations.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Establishes $2m Local Currency Credit Line for Bank of Asia

The UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) recently opened a local-currency credit line equivalent to USD 2 million for the Bank of Asia Closed Joint Stock Company (CJSC), a public bank based in the Kyrgyz Republic, to support the bank’s micro-, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) clients.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Depositors Withdraw Savings from Microfinance Firms in Kumasi, Ghana amid Lack of Safety Nets for Clients

High rates of deposit withdrawals reportedly are occurring in Ghanaian city of Kumasi, which allegedly is attributed to the lack of safety nets protecting depositors in case firms are shut down by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the country’s main financial regulator.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Risk Management Initiative in Microfinance (RIM) Launched

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: PKF Chartered Accountants Advises Royal Bank Zimbabwe to Downscale to Microfinance Institution

PKF Chartered Accountants, the Zimbabwean member of UK-based businesses services firm PKF International, reportedly has advised Royal Bank Zimbabwe Limited, a defunct bank, to convert its commercial banking license to a microfinance institution (MFI) license, which carries lower capital requirements set by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the country’s central banking institution.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Online Fundraiser Kiva Discloses Delinquencies of Microfinance Institutions Alidé of Benin, FECECAV of Togo

Kiva, a US-based online microlending fundraiser, recently reported on delinquent payments due to Kiva by non-profit institutions L’Association de Lutte pour la promotion des Initiatives de Développement (Alidé) of Benin and Faîtière des Caisses d’Epargne et de Crédit des Associations Villageoises (FECECAV) of Togo.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Microfinance Institution Tiers, Microfinance in East Africa, Weather Risk Management

“Microfinance Institution Tier Definitions;” published by MicroRate; April 2013; 2 pages; available at http://www.microrate.com/media/downloads/2013/04/MicroRate-White-paper-Microfinance-Institution-Tier-Definitions.pdf

This report proposes a “tier system that defines microfinance institution [MFI] peer groups by institutional maturity to provide a foundation for industry analysis and informed dialogue.”