Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s West Bengal State Offers MSMEs $8k via Unsecured “Micro Business Credit Cards,” Funded by $32m from State Bank of India

The government of the Indian state of West Bengal recently secured INR 2 billion (USD 32 million) from the government-owned State Bank of India to fund “Micro Business Credit Cards” for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Maize Insurance in Burkina Faso, Risks to Microfinance in Pakistan, Claims Analysis in Health Microinsurance

“Loan Protection for Maize Farmers in Burkina Faso;” by Barbara Magnoni and Danielle Sobol; published by The MicroInsurance Centre; 2014; 13 pages; available at http://www.microinsurancecentre.org/resources/documents/milk-brief-35-doing-the-math-loan-protection-for-maize-farmers-in-burkina-faso/download.html

This paper presents the findings of a study focusing on the impact of droughts, specifically the costs to maize farmers in Burkina Faso. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) Increases Presence in Cameroon, Indonesia with $22m Equity Investment in Bank Mayora, Advisory Agreement with Advans Cameroun

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group focused on private sector development, recently made an equity investment of USD 22 million in Indonesia-based Bank Mayora to support its services for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Triple Bottom Line Investing Presents “TBLI Conference Asia 2015;” April 29-30, 2015; Singapore

Event Name: TBLI Conference Asia 2015

Event Date: April 29-30, 2015

Event Location: INSEAD Asia Campus, Singapore

Cost: The standard cost to attend is SGD 795 (USD 716), with discounts offered to investors, NGO representatives and students, as well as to all attendees who register by April 3, 2015.

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: $53k Giordano Dell’Amore Microfinance Best Practices International Award Applications Due April 19, 2015

Fondazione Giordano Dell’Amore, an Italian foundation that supports microfinance, has announced that it is accepting applications for its 2015 Giordano Dell’Amore Microfinance Best Practices International Award, which aims to increase the understanding of microfinance and promote the sharing of good practices among industry players. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: C-Quadrat Asset Management, Formerly Absolute Portfolio Management, Loans $2.5m for Microfinance in Benin, Cambodia, Georgia

During February 2015, Austria’s Absolute Portfolio Management disbursed loans totaling USD 2.5 million to unspecified microfinance institutions in Benin, Cambodia and Georgia. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Government to Allocate $319m to Create Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Bank (MUDRA) to Prioritize Microfinance Lending to Members of Scheduled Castes, Tribes

The Indian Government has announced plans to allocate INR 200 billion (USD 319 million) for a new bank to be known as The Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Bank (MUDRA). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bajaj Group, CDC, CX, Newquest Place $96m in India’s Ujjivan as Elevar, Lok, Sequoia, Wolfenson, Others Exit

Ujjivan, a microfinance lender primarily serving women in urban areas recently raised the equivalent of USD 48 million in a set of transactions that reportedly comprise the largest microfinance deal in India’s history. Continue reading

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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 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 a unit of the Netherlands’ Triodos Bank, the Triodos Fair Share Fund (TFSF), and the Triodos Microfinance Fund (TMF), have agreed to invest jointly in the following organizations: (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 percent of the organization’s shares; and (3) Kompanion Financial Group, an MFI in Kyrgyzstan that will sell the funds stakes totaling 17.5 percent 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 the internet after assessing potential borrower’s “transactional and behavioral data” from their online business. The funds will be provided through the 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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