Headlines in the M&A market in Africa in recent years seem to have been dominated by the to-ing and fro-ing of Anglo-South African giants such as Barclays Africa/ABSA and Old Mutual. However, financial institutions in the middle market perhaps have been more active. The M&A market in the alternative finance sector (non-bank or “specialty” lenders) has seen at least 30 transactions (excluding minority stakes) completed over the last five years, and activity levels have remained robust over the last 18 months notwithstanding the slow-down of the M&A market overall.
The alternative finance sector covers a range of credit institutions that are not part of the traditional banking sector, for example, micro (enterprise) finance, consumer finance, leasing or invoice discounting, vehicle lending, housing finance, student finance, fintech, and specialist banks. Continue reading →
The Indonesian government recently announced it plans to grow the portion of its Kredit Usaha Rakyat (KUR) program that is used for agriculture, fishing and manufacturing from 22 percent of the program total to 40 percent. The remainder of KUR lending is for trading and services. Continue reading →
AYo, which is a joint venture between two South African firms, insurer MMI Holdings and the MTN (Mobile Telecommunications Network) Group, recently launched its first two products, both in Uganda: (1) Recharge with Care, which provides life and/or hospitalization insurance when an MTN phone subscriber buys airtime; and (2) Send with Care, which Continue reading →
The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle, recently announced that it has loaned AMD 970 million (USD 2 million) to Armenia’s SEF International to support the microfinance institution’s (MFI’s) lending to micro- and small businesses. SEF, which offers Continue reading →
“How to Succeed in Your Digital Journey: a Series of Toolkits for Financial Service Providers”; Published by the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s MicroLead Program; October 2016; available upon request via: https://uncdf.wufoo.com/forms/q4pnwh31pqtp7r/
This first portion of a six-part digital toolkit, which is available in English and French, was designed to benefit microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other financial services providers that aim to offer digital financial services to unbanked populations residing in remote locations. Continue reading →
Asian University for Women (AUW), which was created in 2008 in Chittagong, Bangladesh, is in the process of bringing on additional partners through which it will recruit bachelor’s degree candidates from low-income regions of Asia and the Middle East. The mission of AUW is to offer talented young women from families with minimal educational and financial resources the opportunity to earn an undergraduate Continue reading →
Event Name: Savings and Credit Forum: What are the Social Performance Management and Reporting Practices of Financial Institutions and Microfinance Impact Investors?
Event Date: March 16, 2017
Event Location: University of Zürich, Rämistrasse 59, Zürich, Switzerland
Summary of Event: The draft agenda for this event includes topics such as standards for social performance management and the social performance reporting practices of several microfinance institutions. This half-day event Continue reading →
Event Name: SPTF Social Investor Working Group Meeting
Event Date: March 15 – March 16, 2017
Event Location: University of Zurich, Rämistrasse 71, 8006 Zürich, Switzerland
Summary of Event: Participants in this meeting will discuss the challenges of social performance management (SPM) as it relates to investing in inclusive finance. Speakers also will share Continue reading →
At the 2016 Mekong Financial Inclusion Forum, Ms. Claire Van der Vaeren, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Cambodia, said that financial inclusion is a vital enabler that can help unlock the potential of the poor and underserved, enhance women’s economic empowerment and catalyse a range of national development objectives. Its importance is shown in references to six of the seventeen UN sustainable development goals.
Ms. Van der Vaeren also was impressed by level of private and public engagement in Continue reading →
This report draws upon two recent initial public offerings (IPOs) in the financial inclusion industry – those of Equitas and Ujjivan, both microfinance lenders in India – to make the case that institutions can use IPOs to strengthen their capital base while remaining committed to their social missions. Continue reading →
Event Name: Africa Finance & Investment Forum (AFIF) Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Growth
Event Date: February 13 – 16, 2017
Event Location: Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya
Summary of Event: This year’s iteration of the annual African Finance & Investment Forum (AFIF) will focus on entrepreneurship and innovation over two days of conference sessions preceded by a two-day training session. The goal of Continue reading →