MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Yes Bank’s Sampann, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Bank Use “Doorstep” Banking in Rural India

Two private commercial banks based in the Indian city of Mumbai, Yes Bank and the Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Bank, reportedly have started using “doorstep” banking in rural India to reach more customers by offering services such as credit, savings and insurance at customers’ homes. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Airtel Ghana, MicroEnsure, Enterprise Life Roll Out Free Mobile Accident Insurance in Ghana

Airtel Ghana, a subsidiary of Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel; MicroEnsure, a UK-based microinsurance company founded by US-based Opportunity International; and Enterprise Life, an insurance company that is part of Ghana-based Enterprise Group, recently announced that 100,000 Airtel Ghana customers have registered for Airtel Insurance. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to Loan $69m to UniCredit Bank Serbia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral institution, recently announced that it is considering loaning EUR 50 million (USD 69 million) to UniCredit Bank Serbia, a subsidiary of Italy-based financial services company UniCredit Group. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Thai Office of Insurance Commission Promotes Microinsurance, Introduces $6 Life Product

The Office of Insurance Commission (OIC), a government agency that regulates and supervises the insurance industry of Thailand, has started a drive to promote microinsurance in the country and announced that it will launch a life insurance policy aimed at poor people [1]. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Mobile Money Agents in Uganda; Sustainable Microfinance; Mobile Money for the Global Unbanked

“Agent Network Accelerator Survey: Uganda Country Report 2013;” published by Helix Institute of Digital Finance; January 2014; 26 pages; available at http://www.helix-institute.com/data-and-insights/agent-network-accelerator-survey-%E2%80%93-uganda-country-report-2013-0

This document presents the results of a study conducted by the US-based nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and India-based for-profit consultancy MicroSave that seeks to identify the challenges, trends and successes of the mobile money market in Uganda by surveying 2,000 agents. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Dingyi Venture Capital of China Grants $3m to International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Fund Assessment of Financial Services Available to Microenterprises in Rural China, Other Initiatives

Dingyi Venture Capital of China has awarded a grant of USD 3 million to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private investment arm of the World Bank Group, to fund various initiatives in rural China including an assessment of existing financial services available to microenterprises. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Jamaica Microfinancing Association (JamFA) Executive Director Raymond Gabbidon Says “Loan Shark” Accusation is “Unfair”

According to statements attributed to Mr Raymond Gabbidon, Executive Director of the eleven-member Jamaica Microfinancing Association (JamFA), the recent characterization [1] of the country’s microfinance sector as being afflicted by “loan sharks” by former Commerce Secretary Dr Chris Tufton is “unfair.” Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mutual-Aid Credit Cooperative for Private Farmers of Bulgaria Among Finalists for $69k 6th Giordano Dell’Amore Microfinance Good Practices Europe Awards

Fondazione Giordano Dell’Amore, an Italian foundation that supports microfinance, in partnership with the European Microfinance Network (EMN), a Belgium-based nonprofit organization, recently announced three finalists for the Sixth Annual Giordano Dell’Amore Microfinance Good Practices Europe Award, a series that recognizes initiatives that promote financial inclusion as a tool for development.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Saving for Change Reaches 85k Members in Cambodia, 680k Worldwide

Saving for Change (SfC), a saving-group initiative that was established in 2005 by nonprofit organizations Oxfam America, Freedom from Hunger and the Stromme Foundation, has grown to serve approximately 85,000 women in Cambodia as of March 2014 since its launch in that country in 2011. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Luxembourg Fund Labeling Agency (LuxFLAG) Provides Environmental Label to Parvest Green Tigers Fund; Microfinance Label to EU Microfinance Platform, Symbiotics (SICAV) SEB Microfinance Fund

The Luxembourg Fund Labeling Agency (LuxFLAG), a nonprofit organization that certifies the operations of investment vehicles that promote microfinance and environmental initiatives, has approved an environmental label for Parvest Green Tiger Fund, an environmental investment vehicle (EIV) domiciled in Luxembourg, and microfinance labels for the EU Microfinance Platform Fund and Symbiotics (SICAV) SEB (Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken) Microfinance Fund, both microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EBRD, EFSE to Loan $16m to FINCA Azerbaijan to Support Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), Agricultural Lending

Through two unrelated transactions, the Azerbaijan-based subsidiary of the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA), a US-based microfinance network, received local-currency loans totaling USD 16 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral development bank, and the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a government-backed microfinance investment vehicle based in Luxembourg. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: United Nations, Smart Communications, Land Bank of Philippines Use Mobile Money in Recovery from Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in partnership with Smart Communications Incorporated (Smart), a Philippines-based telecommunications company, and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), a government bank specializing in serving farmers and fishermen, reportedly have commenced using mobile money to facilitate wage payments under UNDP’s “cash-for-work ” program that was launched for the 12 month period beginning in November 2013 in areas of the Philippines struck by typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Facebook Seeks Regulatory Approval from Central Bank of Ireland to Provide Remittances, Mobile Money Throughout European Union

Facebook, a US-based social networking company, reportedly is waiting for approval of its application to the Central Bank of Ireland to become an “e-money” institution, which would allow it to provide remittances and mobile money services throughout Europe through a structure known as “passporting”[2]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Raiffeisen Bank Arranges $60m Loan to Microfinance Institution Access Bank of Azerbaijan

Raiffeisen Bank International, an Austria-based parent organization of financial service providers in 15 countries, has arranged a syndicated loan of USD 60 million with participation from 16 banks to AccessBank, a microfinance institution (MFI) in Azerbaijan. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kenya Grants Mobile Money Licenses to Finserve Africa, Tangaza Mobile Pay, Zioncell Kenya

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), the regulatory authority for the telecommunications sector of the country, recently granted mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licenses to Finserve Africa Limited, a subsidiary of Kenya’s Equity Bank, and two Kenyan mobile money transfer services, Tangaza Mobile Pay Limited and Zioncell Kenya Limited. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Call for Proposals for 10th International Microinsurance Conference, Hosted by Munich Re Foundation, Microinsurance Network, Mexico City, November 11-13, 2014

Munich Re Foundation, a German nonprofit organization affiliated with reinsurer Munich Re, and the Microinsurance Network, a Luxembourg-based membership organization that seeks to improve access to insurance for poor people, recently issued a call for proposals for presentations to be made at the 10th International Microinsurance Conference. Continue reading