Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Wells Fargo, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Plan $220m Loan to India’s Yes Bank for Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

US-based Wells Fargo Bank and the US government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) have agreed to “explore” extending up to USD 220 million in credit to Yes Bank, and Indian commercial bank, for on-lending to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Amret Microfinance, Econet Wireless, myAgro, Urwego Opportunity Bank to Engage Human-Centered Design Firms to Improve Digital Financial Services for Smallholder Farmers in Cambodia, Africa

CGAP (The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based nonprofit that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access, recently selected the following financial service providers to receive an unspecified level of support from human-centered design firms to improve their digital financial services for small-scale farmers: (1) Amret Microfinance, a Cambodian microfinance institution; (2) the Zimbabwean arm of South African mobile network operator Econet Wireless and US-based relief and development nonprofit Mercy Corps; (3) myAgro, a nonprofit organization in Mali that sells agricultural inputs via a mobile technology; and (4) Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB), a microfinance institution that was created as a result of a merger between Urwego Community Banking and Opportunity International Bank of Rwanda [1]. While the Econet-Mercy partnership will engage human-centered design firm IDEO.org, the other three programs have not yet released the names of the organizations with which they will work.  Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Triodos Fair Share, Triodos Microfinance Funds to Invest Debt, Equity in India’s Janalakshmi, Kazakhstan’s KazMicroFinance, Kyrgyzstan’s Kompanion

Two microfinance investment vehicles managed by the Netherlands’ Triodos Bank, the Triodos Fair Share Fund (TFSF), and the Triodos Microfinance Fund (TMF), have agreed to invest jointly in the following orgazations: (1) Janalakshmi Financial Services (JFS), a Bangalore-based microfinance institution (MFI) that will borrow USD 11.4 million to expand its financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in India; (2) KazMicroFinance (KMF), which is reportedly the largest MFI in Kazakhstan and will sell the Triodos funds stakes totaling 13.7 of the organization’s shares; and (3) Kompanion Financial Group, an MFI in Kyrgyzstan that will sell the funds stakes totaling 17.5 of the organization’s shares as it seeks to transform from a community development financial institution into a microfinance bank [1] [2] [3]. Kompanion also sold a 17.5-percent stake to Dutch public-private development bank FMO; Mercy Corps, the founder of Kompanion, is retaining 65-percent ownership of the institution. The prices paid for the equity stakes in KMF and Kompanion have not been released. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC, Goldman Sachs Deliver Business Training, $80m in Loan Funds Via Alibaba’s Ant Credit to Support Women Entrepreneurs in China

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that offers financial services to businesses and governments in developing countries with the aim of increasing economic growth, will provide a senior loan of RMB 500 million (USD 80 million) to Ant Credit, the business-lending division of Ant Financial Services Group, which is an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba [1]. The funds will be used to provide credit lines to Chinese women who have online business. Ant credit will on-lend these  funds via de internet after assessing potential borrower’s “transactional and behavioral data” from their online business. The funds will be provided through Goldman Sachs “10,000 Women” Program, which was launched in 2008 to teach business skills and facilitate access to capital for 10,000 women living in  low- and moderate-income countries [2]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vikram Akula Buys 26% Stake in India’s Vaya Finserv

Vikram Akula, the founder and former chairman of Indian group-lender SKS Microfinance, recently bought 26-percent stake in the start-up Vaya Finserv. Launched in 2014, Vaya Finserv has plans to acquire a “small finance bank” license, which will it will use to provide credit to individuals in India who have been rejected by traditional banks, primarily women’s self-help groups. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: e-MFP Survey of Investors in Tier 2/3 Microfinance Institutions; The Business of Doing Good; Benchmarking Inclusive Growth and Development

“Annual Survey 2014, e-MFP Action Group of Investors in Tier 2/3 MFIs;” prepared by Gabriela Erice, Daniel Rozas and e-MFP in collaboration with the e-MFP Action Group of Investors in Tier-2/3 Microfinance Institutions; published by the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP); 2015; 22 pages, available at http://www.e-mfp.eu/sites/default/files/resources/2015/01/Annual%20Survey%202014%20-%20final.pdf

The “Investors in Tier 2/3 MFIs Action Group” of the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), a Luxembourg-based network of approximately 130 microfinance organizations and individuals, has released the results of its third annual survey detailing the analysis of investments of the action group members for the year 2013 [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC Raises Stake in Indian Microlender Bandhan Financial Services with $94m Equity Investment

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that offers financial services to businesses and governments in developing countries with the aim of increasing economic growth, recently raised its stake in Bandhan Financial Services, an India-based microfinance institution (MFI) that offers loans for health emergencies and microenterprise, with an investment of INR 5.8 billion (USD 94.4 million). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India Completes Phase I of Jan-Dhan Initiative to Provide Banking Services to Every Household

Arun Jaitley, the Indian Finance Minister, reportedly announced that the government has completed Phase I of the Jan-Dhan initiative, a scheme created by Prime Minister Modi to give all Indians access to banking services, including credit, savings, insurance, direct benefits transfer and electronic payments. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation Loans $936k to Jordan’s Microfund for Women, $1.7m to Georgia’s JSC MFO Crystal

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has issued the following two loans: (1) EUR 825,000 (USD 936,000) to Microfund for Women, a microfinance institution (MFI) in Jordan that was founded in 1994 as a program of UK-based NGO Save the Children; and (2) EUR 1.5 million (USD 1.6 million) to Joint Stock Company Microfinance Organization Crystal (JSC MFO Crystal), an MFI that was established in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 1998 as the Crystal Fund. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Triodos Investment Management Disburses Loans to Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) Lenders in Cambodia, Colombia, India, Jordan, Uzbekistan

Triodos Investment Management, a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Triodos Bank, recently disbursed loans of undisclosed amounts to Annapurna Microfinance, an Indian microfinance institution (MFI); Asociacion Fondo de Desarrollo (FDL), an MFI in Nicaragua; Crezcamos, a Columbian MFI; Hamkorbank, a commercial bank in Uzbekistan; Intean Poalroath Rongroeurng (IPR), an MFI in Cambodia; Intellegrow, a nonbanking financial company (NBFC) serving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in India; and Vitas Jordan, an Amman-based MFI [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Manappuram of India Acquires 70% Stake in Asirvad Microfinance of India for $21m

Manappuram Finance, an India-based non-banking finance company, recently acquired 70 percent of the shares of Asirvad Microfinance, a microfinance company based in India that provides enterprise loans, for INR 136 crores (USD 21.4 million). Manappuram will acquire the shareholding via a combination of purchasing shares from existing shareholders and subscribing to new equity shares of Asirvad. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation Loans $1.6m to Hattha Kaksekar Limited of Cambodia, $1.2m to Sri Lanka’s VisionFund Lanka

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has issued the following two loans: (1) EUR 1.5 million (USD 1.6 million) to Hattha Kaksekar Limited (HKL), an MFI based in Cambodia that was founded in 1994 by Organisation Canadienne pour la Solidarite et le Developpement (OCSD) and Oxfam International; and (2) EUR 1.1 million (USD 1.2 million) to VisionFund Lanka, a unit of US-based VisionFund, which offers financial services to families living in poverty in the developing world through a network of MFIs in 36 countries. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation Loans $1.2m to Kenya’s Juhudi Kilimo, Uganda Microcredit Foundation (UMF), Uganda’s Encot

The Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has issued the following three loans in local currency equivalent to: (1) EUR 482,000 (USD 555,000) over a two-year period to Juhudi Kilimo, a for-profit provider of microloans and microinsurance in Kenya; (2) EUR 293,000 (USD 339,000) over a three-year period to Uganda Microcredit Foundation (UMF), a microfinance institution offering financial services to “economically active” Ugandans; and (3) EUR 257,000 (USD 297,000) over a three-year period to Encot, a provider of microloans to rural enterprises in Uganda [1].  Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Muthoot Finance, FIS to Bring Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to Rural India

Muthoot Finance, an Indian non-banking finance company (NBFC) that offers money transfers and loans using gold items as collateral, recently partnered with Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), a US-based banking and payment technology provider, to introduce Muthoot-branded automated teller machines (ATMs) in rural areas of India. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Utkarsh Micro Finance, Advans SA Land $24m in Equity from CDC, Lok Capital, Aavishkaar Goodwell India, International Finance Corporation, Norwegian Microfinance Initiative

The Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), a development finance institution owned by the UK government, has announced that it has made an equity investment of USD 11 million in Utkarsh, a northern Indian microfinance institution (MFI) [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Triodos Sustainable Trade Fund Opens $2m Credit Line for Thai Organic Rice Company Urmatt, Cocoa Producer ICAM Uganda

The Triodos Sustainable Trade Fund, which provides trade finance loans to co-operatives and private companies operating in “sustainable” agricultural value chains, recently opened a credit line for Urmatt Limited, a Thai company producing and processing certified organic rice, and ICAM Chocolate Uganda Limited, a subsidiary of the Italian firm Industria Cioccolato e Affini Morbegno (ICAM) that sources organically grown green cocoa beans directly from local farmers in Uganda. The funding, which is capped at USD 2 million [3], is intended to enable these two companies to pay “fair” prices to farmers and improve their cash flow management [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Loans $114m to Finansbank for Women Entrepreneurs in Turkey, Bank CenterCredit (BCC) for Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises in Kazakhstan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral financial institution headquartered in England, recently extended loans to Finansbank, a commercial bank in Turkey that is a subsidiary of the National Bank of Greece Group, and Bank CenterCredit (BCC), a Kazakhstan-based joint stock company. Continue reading

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