MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) Lends $17m to Finansbank of Turkey, Half for Micro-, Small Enterprises

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV), recently extended a loan facility totalling EUR 15 million (approximately USD 17 million) to Finansbank A.S., a Turkish subsidiary of the National Bank of Greece Group, a financial conglomerate based in Athens. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: ResponsAbility Investments Loans $10m to Kompanion Bank of Kyrgyzstan

ResponsAbility Investments AG, a Swiss company specializing in investments in areas such as fair trade, recently informed MicroCapital that it has agreed to loan the equivalent of USD 10 million to Kompanion Bank Closed Joint Stock Company, an organization in Kyrgyzstan whose business comprises more than 90 percent microfinance, according to the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Offers $114k Prize for Use of Microfinance to Increase Access to Education, Applications due June 1, 2016

The seventh European Microfinance Award, titled “Microfinance and Access to Education”, includes a cash prize totalling EUR 100,000 (approximately USD 114,000) to be presented by the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs – Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs on November 17, 2016, during European Microfinance Week. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Cignifi, Equifax to Generate Credit Scores Based on Mobile Phone Usage in Latin America

Cignifi, a US-based provider of information technology, and Equifax, a US-based consumer credit reporting agency, recently announced a “multi-year partnership” to offer credit scores in Latin America. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: VisionFund International Buying Majority Equity Stake in Opportunity’s Microfinance Institution in Democratic Republic of Congo

Pending regulatory approval, VisionFund International, a US-based affiliate of the Christian humanitarian organization World Vision International, recently agreed to purchase a majority stake in Opportunity International’s (OI’s) microfinance institution (MFI) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Sierra Leone to Lend to SMEs at Single-digit Interest Rates without Collateral

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Sierra Leone (SMESL), which was established by that nation’s parliament in 2015 [2], recently announced it will provide loans at interest rates below 10 percent per year without a collateral requirement, in an effort to strengthen small and medium-sized enterprises in the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: C-Quadrat’s Dual Return Funds Loan $1.5m to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Costa Rica, Moldova

During March 2016, Austria’s C-Quadrat Asset Management GmbH issued loans worth the equivalent of USD 1.5 million via its two Dual Return Funds to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Costa Rica and Moldova. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institution Alif Capital of Tajikistan Receives Banking License

Alif-Sarmoya (Alif Capital) Micro Credit Deposit Organization LLC recently has been approved by the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) to provide banking services in both hard currency and somoni, the currency of Tajikistan. Specifically, Alif Capital can now receive deposits, transfer money and conduct currency exchange operations. While the organization had been microlending, it is unclear whether Alif Capital was already providing any of these other services before the license was approved by NBT. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kreditech Raises $104m from Amadeus, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Peter Thiel, Previous Investors for Monedo Online Lending Platform

Kreditech, a German financial technology company, recently announced that it raised EUR 10 million (USD 11.2 million) as part of its Series C funding round from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, to invest mainly in its Monedo platform, which provides on-line banking products to consumers in both emerging and developed markets. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Mobile Money in Africa; Doing Business in Kyrgyzstan; Digitalization of Kenya’s Premier Credit

“Mobile Money Momentum in Four African Countries;” published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); December 2015; 101 pages; available at: http://www.cgap.org/news/new-data-cgap-sets-benchmark-use-mobile-financial-services Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Teranga Capital Launches Fund for Small Growing Business in Senegal

Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P), a France-based family of investment funds that supports “socially responsible” entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa, recently announced the inauguration of its third fund, Teranga Capital (TC). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Afluenta Raises $8m in Series B Equity Funding from International Finance Corporation, Elevar for Peer-to-Peer Lending in Latin America

Afluenta, an Argentina-based peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform, recently announced it closed a series B funding round totaling USD 8 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that aims to increase economic growth in developing countries, and Elevar Equity, a “development-focused” private equity fund based in India. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Gemeinschaftsbank für Leihen und Schenken (GLS) Invests $15m in Sanad Fund for MSME to Deploy in Middle East, North Africa

Gemeinschaftsbank für Leihen und Schenken (GLS), a German bank that focuses on investing in socially responsible and ecological projects, recently invested EUR 13 million (USD 14.5 million) in Sanad Fund for MSME (Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise), a Luxembourg-based public-private partnership that provides debt and equity financing in the Middle East and North Africa. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank Group’s Azerbaijan-Central Asia Financial Markets Infrastructure Project III to Unify Credit Data to Support Lending Based on Movable Collateral in Tajikistan

The World Bank Group, a multilateral financial institution serving developing countries, has launched the “Azerbaijan-Central Asia Financial Markets Infrastructure Project III”, the third phase of a project which includes an effort to improve the efficiency of the credit reporting system in Tajikistan. Specifically, the new credit system will allow Tajikistan’s credit reporting providers to offer data through a combined platform, allowing lenders to analyze loan risks using credit histories gleaned from multiple credit bureaus at one time. The project, which is being carried out in cooperation with the National Bank of Tajikistan, the central bank of the country, and the government of Tajikistan, is meant to promote the use of movable assets as collateral for lending and also includes efforts to expand financial education. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Green for Growth Fund Southeast Europe (GGF) Signs $2.2m Senior Loan Facility with ICS Total Leasing & Finance of Moldova

The Green for Growth Fund Southeast Europe (GGF), a Germany-based fund that invests in energy efficiency and renewable energy, recently announced that it has agreed to disburse a senior loan of EUR 2 million (USD 2.2 million) to ICS Total Leasing & Finance S.A. (TLF), a Moldova-based non-banking financial institution. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Penn Microfinance to Host 10th Annual Conference: Banking on Change; April 9, 2016; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Event Name: 10th Annual Penn Microfinance Conference: Banking on Change

Event Date: April 9, 2016; 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Event Location: University of Pennsylvania, Huntsman Hall; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: MFI Client Satisfaction and Consumer Protection in Peru; Mobile Microfinance Users Predicted to Triple by 2020; Mobilizing Savings Through Agency Banking

“Voice of the Client: An analysis of client satisfaction and consumer protection across four microfinance institutions in Peru,” by J. Foelster, A. Pierantozzi, M. Pistelli; published by the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) in collaboration with Hivos People Unlimited; February 2016; 31 pages; available at: http://www.themix.org/sites/default/files/Voice%20of%20the%20Client%20Peru_0.pdf Continue reading