MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Estimates that Global Remittances Declined 11.5% in 2009

According to a report by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries, global remittances may have declined by up to 11.5 percent in 2009 due to the financial crisis.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) Releases 2009 Benchmarking Report on Eastern Europe and Central Asia in Russian

The nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) recently released the 2009 Eastern Europe and Central Asia Microfinance Analysis and Benchmarking Report in Russian.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Citigroup Pledges $1m to Help Rebuild Microfinance Sector in Haiti Following January Earthquake

Citigroup, a major American financial services company based in New York City, has pledged USD 1 million in grants to help rebuild Haiti’s microfinance industry [1]. The money will be distributed via three microfinance providers: SOGESOL, Fonkoze and FINCA-Haiti. The grants are to be used by microentrepreneurs whose businesses were damaged by the earthquake in mid-January. This adds to the large grants already given to microfinance institutions in Haiti. Fonkoze has already received a USD 4.5 million grant from the MasterCard Foundation, based in Canada [2].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Experts Debate New Code of Conduct Adopted by the Microfinance India Network (MFIN)

A recent article featured on Livemint.com, an Indian business newspaper owned by the Wall Street Journal, discusses the debate surrounding the code of conduct recently adopted by the Microfinance India Network (MFIN), a trade association made up of 38 Indian non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) engaged in microfinance.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Shaka Mobile and TransferTo Launch Service Facilitating Cross-Border Mobile Money Transfers

Shaka Mobile, a mobile money transfer service provider for African immigrants in the United States, has signed an agreement with TransferTo, a Singapore-based company that operates a global airtime transfer network, to allow customers in the US and around the world to send wireless recharge to their friends and relatives in Africa.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroSave Releases Podcast on the 2007 Initial Public Offering of Mexican Microfinance Lender Compartamos

MicroSave, a technical assistance, training and technical resource center for microfinance organizations, has released a podcast discussing issues surrounding the controversially lucrative 2007, USD 458 million initial public offering of the Mexican microfinance bank, Compartamos.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: responsAbility to Stop Issuing Shares for Global Microfinance Fund

Effective May 26, 2010, the responsAbility Global Microfinance Fund (rAGMF), which directly invests in microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs), will temporarily stop accepting investment. A statement released by responsAbility suggests high liquidity, resulting from steadily high net investment inflows and slowing demand for microfinance credit from MFIs driven by the global economic crisis, as the cause of the stoppage [1].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: The GROWTH Act is Introduced In the US House of Representatives

On April 29, 2010, the Global Resources and Opportunities for Women to Thrive (GROWTH) Act was introduced in the US House of Representatives. The bill, which was originally introduced into the US Senate on July 9, 2009, would provide a range of economic tools intended to help women in developing countries improve their financial situations. The bill includes microfinance and small business development and training as well as measures to enhance women’s land and property rights, to improve wages and working conditions, to improve access to global trade and to strengthen local women’s organizations.

SPECIAL REPORT: The Merger of Microfinance and Carbon Finance – A Mechanism for Small-Scale Technology Transfer

As world leaders haggle over emissions cuts and financial obligations to promote technology transfer to developing nations, a vanguard of microfinance institutions (MFIs) have silently financed purchases of clean energy technologies such as solar panels, biogas digesters, micro hydro dams and clean energy cook stoves in some of the poorest regions of the world. The prevalence of small-scale clean technologies could contribute to the displacement of rapidly expanding coal powered electricity grids to rural areas. Furthermore, it could replace dirty fuels – firewood, animal dung and charcoal – which have significant consequences for human health.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microlenders in Nigeria Unite Under the Association for the Survival/Sustenance of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

A group of microfinance institutions (MFIs) across Nigeria, including microfinance banks, co-operative societies and NGOs, has joined together to form the Association for the Survival/Sustenance of Microfinance Institutions. The primary goal of the association is to facilitate funding from international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: Outlook for Remittance Flows 2010-2011, by Dilip Ratha, Sanket Mohapatra, and Ani Silwal

Written by Dilip Ratha, Sanket Mohapatra, and Ani Silwal, published by The Migration and Remittances Team of the World Bank’s Development Prospects Group (DECPG) in April 2010, 18 pages, available at: http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPROSPECTS/Resources/334934-1110315015165/MigrationAndDevelopmentBrief12.pdf

The Migration and Remittances Team of the World Bank’s Development Prospects Group (DECPG), an organization providing information and analysis on global economic trends, has published a paper entitled “Outlook for Remittance Flows 2010-2011.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bandhan Financial Services Private Limited, Microfinance Institution (MFI) Based in Kolkata, India, Decreases Interest Rate on Loans from 24 Percent to 19.1 Percent on a Reducing Balance

Bandhan Financial Services Private Limited, a microfinance institution (MFI) based in Kolkata, India, has decreased its annual interest rate on loans from 24 percent to 19.1 percent on a reducing balance.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Receives Top Economics Prize

Esther Duflo, a contributor to the field of microfinance research, has been awarded the John Bates Clark Medal [1]. The award, which is generally considered to be one of the most prestigious prizes in the field, is given to an economist in the US under the age of forty who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge.

MICROCAPITAL EVENT: Microfinance USA 2010, Hosted Live and by Webcast by Opportunity Fund, Kiva and US ACCION Network on May 20-21, 2010, San Francisco, CA, USA

Event Name: Microfinance USA 2010

Event Date: May 20 to May 21, 2010

Event Location:

Thursday, May 20th at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St, San Francisco, California, USA
Friday, May 21st at The Westin San Francisco Market St, 50 Third St, San Francisco, California, USA

For those unable to attend, the event will be webcast live at http://www.microfinanceusa2010.org/webcast/

Event Website: http://www.microfinanceusa2010.org/

See Our Comprehensive Event Calendar Here: http://microfinanceassociation.ning.com/events

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Projects Impact Investments to Reach $500b by 2014

The nonprofit Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) recently projected that impact investments, defined as investments that “aim to solve social or environmental challenges while generating financial profit,” will grow to USD 500 billion by 2014, totaling roughly 1 percent of all managed assets.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: LeapFrog Investments Poised to Invest $30m to $37m in Microinsurance Projects in India

In a recent interview with the Indian online news platform VCCircle, Mr Jim Roth, Principal at LeapFrog Investments, a private equity microinsurance fund, said that of the fund’s USD 110 million in capital, it would commit USD 30 to 37 million to microinsurance products in India.

MICROCAPITAL EVENT: “Youth Savings Accounts: The Youth Development and Financial Inclusion Nexus?” Hosted Live and via Webcast by the YouthSave Consortium and the MasterCard Foundation on May 6, 2010, Washington, DC, USA

Event Name: “Youth Savings Accounts: The Youth Development and Financial Inclusion Nexus?”

Event Date: May 6, 2010

Event Location: New America Foundation
1899 L Street NW Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036 USA

For those unable to attend, the event will be webcast live at http://www.newamerica.net/events/2010/youth_savings_accounts

Event Website: http://www.newamerica.net/events/2010/youth_savings_accounts

See Our Comprehensive Event Calendar Here: http://microfinanceassociation.ning.com/events