MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: Exploring New Frontiers – The Potential of Impact Investments in Microinsurance

By Jeremy Leach, Sandisiwe Ncube and Anand Menon; published by the Microinsurance Network; 2014; 49 pages; available at http://www.microinsurancenetwork.org/sites/default/files/MICRO_NetworkInvestor_PaperWEB.pdf

Microinsurance, a risk mitigation and management tool for people with low incomes, has grown from 78 million lives covered in 2005 to approximately 263 million lives in 2013, with a potential market estimated at 3 billion to 4 billion policies generating USD 30 billion to USD 50 billion in annual premium revenue. Total demand for microinsurance is growing approximately 10 percent per year, which the authors argue points to increasing investment opportunities and a promising business case for investors. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nestlé Dominican Republic, Multilateral Investment Fund, Asociación Dominicana para el Desarrollo de la Mujer (ADOPEM) to Develop Microfranchise Distribution Project in the Dominican Republic

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the US-based Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), recently announced that it has partnered with Asociación Dominicana para el Desarrollo de la Mujer (ADOPEM), a microfinance institution (MFI) in the Dominican Republic, and Nestlé Dominican Republic, a unit of the Switzerland-based multinational food and beverage company, to develop a project that will give low-income women in the country an opportunity to operate micro-franchises to distribute Nestlé products in their communities [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Triodos Sustainable Trade Fund Opens $2m Credit Line for Thai Organic Rice Company Urmatt, Cocoa Producer ICAM Uganda

The Triodos Sustainable Trade Fund, which provides trade finance loans to co-operatives and private companies operating in “sustainable” agricultural value chains, recently opened a credit line for Urmatt Limited, a Thai company producing and processing certified organic rice, and ICAM Chocolate Uganda Limited, a subsidiary of the Italian firm Industria Cioccolato e Affini Morbegno (ICAM) that sources organically grown green cocoa beans directly from local farmers in Uganda. The funding, which is capped at USD 2 million [3], is intended to enable these two companies to pay “fair” prices to farmers and improve their cash flow management [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Loans $114m to Finansbank for Women Entrepreneurs in Turkey, Bank CenterCredit (BCC) for Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises in Kazakhstan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral financial institution headquartered in England, recently extended loans to Finansbank, a commercial bank in Turkey that is a subsidiary of the National Bank of Greece Group, and Bank CenterCredit (BCC), a Kazakhstan-based joint stock company. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Absolute Portfolio Management’s Vision Microfinance Funds Invest $8.5m in Microfinance Institutions in Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru

Absolute Portfolio Management (APM), an arm of Austria-based asset management group C-Quadrat, recently informed MicroCapital that it disbursed credits totaling the approximate equivalent of USD 8.5 million from its two Vision Microfinance funds, the Dual Return Fund-Vision Microfinance and the Dual Return Fund-Vision Microfinance Local Currency, to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Financial Liberalization and Rural Banking in India, Agricultural Financing and Food Security in Developing Countries, European Small Business Finance Outlook

“Financial Liberalization and Rural Banking in India;” published by the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata; 2014; 29 pages; available at http://www.networkideas.org/feathm/dec2004/Conference_Papers/Financial_Liberalisation_Rural_Banking_India_VKR.pdf

This paper examines the effects of the recent trend of financial liberalization in India, including its impact on banking policy and the structure of rural economies in the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO) Syndicates $70m in Loans to BRAC for Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises with Participation from OFID, OeEB, BIO, Actiam, responsAbility

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch public-private partnership that aims to promote growth in developing economies, recently disbursed a USD 70 million five-year syndicated loan to BRAC, an NGO that was formerly known as the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee and serves eleven countries as of 2015. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) of Bangladesh Launches Lead Microfinance Institution System to Coordinate Poverty-reduction Programmes

The Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA), a Bangladeshi government body that oversees the operations of nongovernmental organization (NGO) microfinance institutions (MFIs), reportedly is planning the launch of a Lead Microfinance Institution System to coordinate government-funded poverty reduction programmes at the ground level. [1] The model replicates the Lead Bank System present in the country, where a lead bank oversees the arrangement of loan syndications. One goal of this new system is to reduce possible overlaps among international and domestic poverty-reduction programmes that are active in the country. MRA Director Sazzad Hossain also offered the following example of what a lead MFI would do: “Suppose, 200 people are eligible for credits in an upazila, but under the existing system 150 people are getting the credit facilities. The lead MFI will find out why the rest are not under MFI credit programme.” Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MasterCard Labs for Financial Inclusion in East Africa Launched with $19m Donation from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

MasterCard, a US-based global payments and technology company, recently announced that it is launching the MasterCard Labs for Financial Inclusion, which is intended to generate new ideas and financial tools to promote financial inclusion in East Africa via a three-year grant in the amount of USD 11 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a US-based nonprofit that supports innovations in health, education and other fields. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Loans $7m to TuranBank of Azerbaijan to Fund Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Rural Enterprises

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that offers financial services to businesses and governments in developing countries with the aim of increasing economic growth, recently announced that it will loan USD 7 million to TuranBank Open Joint Stock Company (TuranBank), a retail and corporate bank in Azerbaijan. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: JD.com Crowdfunding to Expand Grameen China’s Microfinance Services

JD.com Incorporated, a direct sales e-commerce company in China with annual sales totalling RMB 29 billion (USD 11 billion) [1], recently entered into a collaboration with Grameen China, which operates under Grameen Trust, the nonprofit arm of Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank. [2] Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Asian Development Bank Loans $200m to Yes Bank of India to Fund Women’s Self-Help Groups, Small-Scale Farmers

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), a multilateral development finance institution based in the Philippines, has recently approved a loan of up to USD 200 million to Yes Bank Limited, an Indian commercial bank based in Mumbai. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Global Sustainable Finance Conference; June 11-12, 2015; Karlsruhe, Germany 

Event Name: Global Sustainable Finance Conference

Event Date: January 11 – January 12, 2015

Event Location: Karlsruhe, Germany

Cost: The cost to attend is EUR 890 (USD 1,051) for representatives of nonprofit, government and educational institutions. For all others, the cost is EUR 1,160 (USD 1,370).

Summary of Event: Conference attendees will discuss banking and finance including recent innovations in social, environmental and development finance. In addition, the 2015 Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Awards will be presented. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mobile Services Firm Digicel Invests $5m in Bima to Promote Microinsurance in Asia-Pacific, Caribbean, Central America

Digicel, a Bermuda-based cellular network provider that operates in 30 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific, recently invested USD 5 million in Bima, a Sweden-based mobile microinsurance provider that operates in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific, to expand microinsurance product offerings in the Caribbean and the Asia-Pacific region. Continue reading