SPECIAL REPORT: Scaling Up Implementation of Social Performance Management at European Microfinance Week

On European Microfinance Week 2017the first day of conference sessions at European Microfinance Week, experts in the social performance of microfinance institutions (MFIs) discussed how tools developed over the last ten years have reached a level of maturity warranting their wider rollout.

Cecile Lapenu of France-based Cerise described SPI4, the fourth iteration of a set of Social Performance Indicators intended to simplify reporting and provide a common language for different stakeholders to discuss social performance management (SPM). SPI4 incorporates the Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Principles and the Social Performance Task Force’s Universal Standards for SPM. It also includes optional modules on poverty, gender and the environment. To date, 432 SPI4 audits have been completed on institutions in 88 countries.

Jurgen Hammer of the Luxembourg-based Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation explained his organization’s use of the SPI4/ALINUS (Aligning Investors’ Due Diligence to the Universal Standards) framework to evaluate and benchmark the social performance of its partner MFIs. The foundation was meeting or exceeding the benchmark data in all categories except

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Camilla Nestor Named CEO of MIX, Provider of Data on Microfinance, Agricultural Finance, Digital Financial Services

Camilla Nestor, who recently worked for the US-based Grameen Foundation, has been named CEO of the US-based nonprofit MIX, which seeks to increase financial inclusion by promoting transparency. The Chief Operating Officer of MIX, Blaine Stephens, said “Camilla’s extensive knowledge of these sectors augments MIX’s efforts to address information gaps constraining the development of emerging segments including smallholder agricultural finance and

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Ghana Warns Public About Illegal Microfinance Institutions

The Bank of Ghana recently accused a group of microfinance institutions of operating illegally, including Agro Development Fund Services Limited, Hebron Financial Services, MMM, Money-doubler and Oboanipa Ventures Limited. The government of Ghana is in the process of implementing a Depositors Insurance Act

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroFinanza Rating Issues 27 Rating Updates, New Reports for Microfinance Institutions in the Philippines, Latin America

During October 2017, MicroFinanza Rating (MFR) issued a Micro­finance Institutional Rating (MIR) of BB with a Stable outlook to Rangtay sa Pagrang-ay Microfinance of the Philippines. MFR also updated the MIRs of three affiliates of US-based Pro Mujer Incor­porated: Pro Mujer Argentina’s was confirmed at BB+ with a Positive outlook; Pro Mujer Nicaragua’s was confirmed at BBB+ with a Stable outlook; and Pro Mujer Mexico’s was upgraded

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroFinanza Rating Issues 5 Institutional, Social Credentials to Microfinance Institutions in Ecuador, Mexico, Palestine, Rwanda

Italy’s MicroFinanza Rating (MFR) issued two microfinance institutional ratings during September. Palestine’s Asala Company for Credit and Development was assigned a grade of BB+ with a “stable” outlook, and Inkunga Finance of Rwanda was assigned a grade of

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Unrealistic Expectations in Impact Investing, Valuing Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), Banking Costs in Kenya

“Marginalized Returns,” by Mara Bolis and Chris West, published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fall 2017, 3 pages, available at:
https://ssir.org/articles/entry/marginalized_returns

The authors of this article cite the Global Impact Investing Network’s (GIIN’s) “2016 Annual Impact Investor Survey,” which reports that 84 percent of 158 investors who seek “measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return” in particular are expecting “risk-adjusted market-rate returns.” Ms Bolis and Dr West state that netting annual returns of 10 to 15 percent would

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Myanmar Clears the Air by Issuing Mobile Financial Services License for OK Dollar

Myanmar’s Internet Wallet Limited reportedly has received a mobile financial services license from the Central Bank of Myanmar to cover the operations of its subsidiary, OK Dollar,

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroFinanza Rating Issues 13 Institutional, Social, Client-protection Credentials to Microfinance Institutions in Albania, Morocco, Namibia, Asia, Latin America

During July and August, Italy’s MicroFinanza Rating (MFR) issued five microfinance institutional ratings. Morocco’s Attadamoune Micro-Finance was assigned the grade B+ with a stable outlook. Ecuador’s Fundación Espoir and Albania’s FED Invest both earned grades of BB with stable outlooks. Two institutions earned grades of

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroFinanza Rating Announces Client Protection Certifications, Ratings in Asia, LAC

During May 2017, Italy’s MicroFinanza Rating (MFR), under license from the US-based Smart Campaign, determined that Kyrgyzstan’s Kompanion Bank and FINCA Pakistan have complied with the certification standards derived from the Smart Campaign’s seven client protection

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) Launches Financial Literacy App in 5 Languages

The Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), a self-regulatory organization of 53 Indian microfinance and non-banking financial institutions, recently launched a financial literacy app in English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. The app offers users their credit histories, interest rates, payment cycles

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroFinanza Issues 13 Institutional, Credit, TrueLift Ratings to Microfinance Institutions in Haiti, Latin America, Togo

During April 2017, Italy’s MicroFinanza Rating issued four microfinance institutional ratings. Two of these were to affiliates of French NGO Entrepreneurs du Monde: BB- with a stable outlook to Assilassimé Solidarité of Togo and CC “under observation” to Palmis Mikwofinans Sosyal of Haiti. The other two are

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Ant Financial, Ayala Buy Equity Stakes in Globe’s Mynt, Operator of the Philippines’ GCash, Fuse Lending

Ant Financial Services Group (Ant Fin), a member of China’s Alibaba Group, and Ayala Corporation, a Philippine conglomerate, recently announced their purchases of minority stakes in Globe Fintech Innovations, a financial technology (fintech) affiliate of Globe Telecom that uses the trade name Mynt. Mynt operates GCash, a mobile money

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: With Certification of al Amana, Attawfiq, 64% of Microfinance Clients in Morocco Covered by “Smart” Campaign for Client Protection

Italy’s MicroFinanza Rating recently certified two Moroccan microfinance institutions (MFIs), al Amana and Attawfiq Micro-Finance, as operating within the Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Principles. With a third institution, Tamwil El Fellah (TEF), having received certification in 2016, 64 percent of

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Ghana Introduces Logo for Licensed Microfinance Institutions, New Monitoring Requirements

The Bank of Ghana (BoG), the financial regulator of the country, is introducing a logo that microfinance institutions (MFIs) can display to help consumers “distinguish between credible, licensed microfinance institutions and unlicensed ones.” BoG also is requiring MFIs to monitor

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Palestine Monetary Authority Puts Credit Reports Online for Microfinance Institutions, Banks

The Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA), with assistance from Ramallah-based Al-Andalus Software Development, recently released a “credit reports handling system” that allows financial institutions to access to individual’s credit histories electronically. Previously, credit report requests had to be filed in person

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Asian Development Bank Invests $1.5m in Equity in India’s M-CRIL to Expand Ratings in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Nepal

Micro-Credit Ratings International Limited (M-CRIL), an India-based provider of rating and advisory services to the microfinance industry, recently sold an unspecified portion of its equity to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), a development finance institution with 67 member countries. One goal of the funding is to help M-CRIL expand in Cambodia, China, Indonesia and Nepal. ADB Principal Investment Specialist Anshukant Taneja said the investment will

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroFinanza Rating Issues 10 Institutional, Social Ratings

During February 2017, Italy-based MicroFinanza Rating issued “microfinance institutional ratings” to the following institutions, all with stable outlooks: Indonesia’s Komida, which was assigned a grade of BB; Albania’s NOA, which earned a BBB; Haiti’s ACME, which was assigned a BB+; Vietnam’s Anh Chi Em (ACE), which got a BB-; and two institutions that each received an A-,

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: How the Private Sector Can Boost Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa; the Role of Impact Investing in Achieving SDGs in Africa; Documenting Reforms to “Doing Business”

Entreprenante Afrique; by Jean-Michel Severino and Jérémy Hajdenberg; published in French by Odile Jacob; September 2016; 288 pages; available for purchase at: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=_vslDQAAQBAJ&rdid=book-_vslDQAAQBAJ&rdot=1&source=gbs_vpt_buy&pcampaignid=books_booksearch_atb

Jean-Michel Severino and Jérémy Hajdenberg argue that the 5-percent average annual growth rate Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced since 2000 is being driven significantly by the region’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).