Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

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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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Financial Liberalization and Rural Banking in India, Agricultural Financing and Food Security in Developing Countries, European Small Business Finance Outlook

“Financial Liberalization and Rural Banking in India;” published by the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata; 2014; 29 pages; available at http://www.networkideas.org/feathm/dec2004/Conference_Papers/Financial_Liberalisation_Rural_Banking_India_VKR.pdf

This paper examines the effects of the recent trend of financial liberalization in India, including its impact on banking policy and the structure of rural economies in the country. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO) Syndicates $70m in Loans to BRAC for Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises with Participation from OFID, OeEB, BIO, Actiam, responsAbility

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch public-private partnership that aims to promote growth in developing economies, recently disbursed a USD 70 million five-year syndicated loan to BRAC, an NGO that was formerly known as the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee and serves eleven countries as of 2015. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) of Bangladesh Launches Lead Microfinance Institution System to Coordinate Poverty-reduction Programmes

The Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA), a Bangladeshi government body that oversees the operations of nongovernmental organization (NGO) microfinance institutions (MFIs), reportedly is planning the launch of a Lead Microfinance Institution System to coordinate government-funded poverty reduction programmes at the ground level. [1] The model replicates the Lead Bank System present in the country, where a lead bank oversees the arrangement of loan syndications. One goal of this new system is to reduce possible overlaps among international and domestic poverty-reduction programmes that are active in the country. MRA Director Sazzad Hossain also offered the following example of what a lead MFI would do: “Suppose, 200 people are eligible for credits in an upazila, but under the existing system 150 people are getting the credit facilities. The lead MFI will find out why the rest are not under MFI credit programme.” Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: JD.com Crowdfunding to Expand Grameen China’s Microfinance Services

JD.com Incorporated, a direct sales e-commerce company in China with annual sales totalling RMB 29 billion (USD 11 billion) [1], recently entered into a collaboration with Grameen China, which operates under Grameen Trust, the nonprofit arm of Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank. [2] Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Asian Development Bank Loans $200m to Yes Bank of India to Fund Women’s Self-Help Groups, Small-Scale Farmers

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), a multilateral development finance institution based in the Philippines, has recently approved a loan of up to USD 200 million to Yes Bank Limited, an Indian commercial bank based in Mumbai. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mobile Services Firm Digicel Invests $5m in Bima to Promote Microinsurance in Asia-Pacific, Caribbean, Central America

Digicel, a Bermuda-based cellular network provider that operates in 30 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific, recently invested USD 5 million in Bima, a Sweden-based mobile microinsurance provider that operates in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific, to expand microinsurance product offerings in the Caribbean and the Asia-Pacific region. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: WestBridge Capital Invests $16m to Acquire 20% Equity Stake in India’s Aptus Value Housing Finance

WestBridge Capital, an investment company with offices in India, Mauritius and the United States, recently invested a total of INR 98 crore (USD 16 million) to acquire 20 percent of the shares of Aptus Value Housing Finance, an India-based company that seeks to provide affordable housing finance, primarily for middle-income, self-employed customers [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Enables “Small Finance Banks” in Effort to Promote Financial Inclusion

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, recently issued guidelines for the licensing of “small finance banks,” which are intended to provide credit and savings services to small businesses, small-scale farmers and other entities in the “unorganized sector.” Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CDC, Creation Investments, DEG, International Finance Corporation (IFC), FMO Acquire 40% Equity Stake in India’s Equitas for $51.4m

The Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), which is owned by the UK government; Creation Investments Capital Management (Creation Investments), a US-based alternative investment management company; Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft GmbH (DEG), a German development finance institution offering long-term project and company financing; the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the World Bank Group; and Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch development bank, recently announced that they will invest a total of INR 325 cores (USD 51.4 million) to acquire 40 percent of the shares of Equitas Holdings, an Indian microfinance lender. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: Peru, Colombia, the Philippines Top 2014 Global Microscope on Microfinance Business Environment

According to the Global Microscope on the Microfinance Business Environment 2014, a recent report by the UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Peru is the top country in enabling microfinance for the seventh consecutive year. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UK Department for International Development (DFID), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Create Digital Financial Services Unit in Pakistan

The Department for International Development (DFID), a development agency of the British government, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a US-based nonprofit that supports innovations in health and education, recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the International Branchless Banking Conference 2014 in Pakistan. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Investment Bank (EIB), Government of Luxembourg Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Provide $4.5m in Grants to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in African, Caribbean, Pacific Countries

The Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB), the long-term lending bank of the European Union (EU), and the Government of Luxembourg recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to provide grants totaling EUR 3.6 million (USD 4.5 million) to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Continue reading

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