MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Investment Fund to Guarantee $6m in Credit Lines Extended by Crnogorska Komercijalna Banka (CKB) to 700 Microentrepreneurs in Montenegro

The European Investment Fund (EIF), a member of the EU-backed European Investment Bank Group, and Crnogorska Komercijalna Banka AD (CKB), a member of Hungary’s OTP Group, recently partnered to provide financing to “up to 700 Montenegrin micro-borrowers.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Netherlands’ FMO Lending $5m to First MicroFinance Bank-Afghanistan to Support MSMEs

The Netherlands Development Finance Company, a government-backed institution also known by its Dutch acronym FMO, recently announced it will loan the local-currency equivalent of USD 5 million to The First MicroFinance Bank-Afghanistan (FMFB-A), which is owned by the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM), a unit of Switzerland-based Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) that provides microfinance services across ten different countries [1, 6].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Cambodian Microfinance Association Members Refusing to Charge Clients Value-added Tax

The 82-member Cambodian Microfinance Association (CMA) recently announced that its affiliated microfinance institutions (MFIs) are declining to enforce the 10-percent value-added tax (VAT) that the country’s Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) has levied on financial services.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC Planning Credit Bureau in Myanmar, Investing $13.5m in Fullerton Finance, Accion’s Early Dawn Microfinance, Maha Agriculture

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently announced it will loan a total of USD 13.5 million and provide related advisory services to three microfinance institutions in Myanmar.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Zimbabwe’s IPEC Creates Enabling Framework for Microinsurance

The Insurance and Pension Committee (IPEC) of Zimbabwe recently announced it has issued a regulatory framework for microinsurance products to be distributed through “microfinance institutions, mobile network operators, church organisations and burial societies.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EBRD, TaiwanICDF Lending $4m to Moldovan Express Leasing

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral development institution, recently announced it will loan USD 4 million to Express Leasing and Microcredit, a non-bank financial institution in Moldova that has been owned by US-based private equity firm NCH Capital Group since 2009.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Accion Microfinance Bank to Borrow $1.6m from Citibank Nigeria to Support 5k MSEs

Accion Microfinance Bank (Accion Nigeria), the Nigerian partner of US-based nonprofit Accion, recently announced it will borrow NGN 500 million (USD 1.58 million) from Citibank Nigeria, an arm of US-based financial services provider Citigroup, for on-lending to “support the development of approximately 5,000 micro and small enterprises in the country.”

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Free-riding vs Group Insurance; “Responsible” Microfinance Pricing; State of Microinsurance

“The Social Dilemma of Microinsurance: Free-riding in a Framed Field Experiment;” by Wendy Janssens and Berber Kramer; published by Elsevier; March 2016; 15 pages; available at:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268116300166

This paper analyzes the incentives for individuals to buy health microinsurance while active in borrowing groups. Health issues are consistently among the top reasons people become unable to repay loans.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Myanmar Finance International Borrows $2m from Maybank, Symbiotics for Microfinance

Myanmar Finance International Limited (MFIL), a microfinance institution owned by Myanmar Investments International Limited (MIIL), Myanmar Finance Company Limited (MFCL) and the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund), recently announced that it has secured a local-currency loan facility worth USD 1 million from Switzerland-based Symbiotics.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Netherlands’ FMO Lending $7.5m to ASA Pakistan for Microloans, Financial Education for 50k Women

The Netherlands Development Finance Company, a government-backed institution also known by its Dutch acronym FMO, recently announced it will loan USD 7.5 million to the Association for Social Advancement (ASA) Pakistan, a microlending unit of Mauritius-based ASA International Holding, “to provide funding and financial education to about 50,000 women and their families.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microloan Delinquencies Rise from 0.5% to 11% Following Demonetization in India

India Ratings, a subsidiary of US-based Fitch Group, recently announced that its “0+ days delinquency index” increased from 0.45 percent to 10.82 percent in the four months following November 2016 and thus concluded that the Indian government’s demonetization had a significant negative effect on microlenders [1].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: COMUBA of Benin, COOPEC SIFA of Togo Borrow $1m from Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GGAMF)

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has committed to extending the following loans in phases over three years: the equivalent of USD 615,000 to La Coopérative Des Membres Unis Bethel Actions (COMUBA) in Benin and the equivalent of USD 350,000 to Coopérative d’Epargne et de Crédit des Soutien aux Initiatives de Femmes pour l’Autopromotion (COOPEC SIFA) in Togo.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Equator’s Shore Capital Fund III Raises $15m from AfDB to Invest in Financial Inclusion in Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB), a multilateral institution providing loans and grants to governments and private companies in Africa, recently agreed to invest USD 15 million in Shore Capital Fund III, which is managed by Equator Capital Partners LLC, a US-based “impact” fund manager, with the goal of “expand[ing] access to affordable and responsible financial products and services for the underserved market.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: First Merchant Bank Acquiring Opportunity International Bank of Malawi to Boost Microfinance Services

First Merchant Bank, a Malawi-based financial institution, recently announced it will pay an undisclosed price to acquire Opportunity International Bank of Malawi (OIBM), a microbank affiliated with US-based NGO Opportunity International.

SPECIAL REPORT: ADA’s Laura Foschi on Creating Value for SMEs at SAM in Ethiopia, October 2017

MicroCapital: How has SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) evolved since its launch four years ago?

Laura Foschi: We held the first edition of SAM in 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania. Our goal was to align the annual meetings of three networks of African microfinance institutions: the Africa Microfinance Network (AFMIN), African Microfinance Transparency (AMT) and the Microfinance African Institutions Network (MAIN). We had conference sessions on the first day, the networks’ general assemblies on the second day and an Investor’s Fair on the third day. During the week, we realized the potential of SAM to become a major African inclusive finance event.

We decided to move the location each time with the aim of engaging both French-speaking and English-speaking regions and organizations. In 2015, we held the conference in Senegal, expanding it to include two days of conference sessions and a broader range of parallel events. We were pleasantly surprised to have our registrations double to over 500 people! Perhaps for the fourth edition we will move to North Africa or Southern Africa.

MC: How did you select Ethiopia for the 2017 SAM?

LF: In order to maintain Ethiopia’s strong economic growth, its large young population will need to achieve what we call “economic inclusion.” In order to address this challenge, the government of Ethiopia has prioritized both microfinance and