MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to Invest $17m in Equity in European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) to Support MSME Financing in Ukraine

The German government’s Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ) has agreed to invest equity in the amount of EUR 15 million (USD 17 million) in the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV). This new investment, which is in the highest risk “first-loss” tranche of EFSE, raises BMZ’s total commitment to the fund to approximately EUR 175 million (USD 200 million). The infusion will be used to provide local-currency financing to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Ukraine. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Winter Meeting; February 10, 2015; New York City, USA

Event Name: Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Winter Meeting

Event Date: February 10, 2015

Event Location: Grand Hyatt New York at Grand Central Terminal, New York, New York, USA

Cost: There is no fee to attend the event, although participants may attend by invitation only.

Summary of Event: The attendees will discuss current world development challenges, such as how to sustainably connect small-farmers with markets, the implementation of long-term investment strategies to build resilient health services, how to decrease skills gaps in the marketplace and methods for protecting and managing water resources. Members will be encouraged to create collective action plans around specific development challenges.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Loans $29m to Government of Uganda in Effort to Bring Financial Inclusion, Improved Nutrition to 576k Rural Households

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), an agency of the United Nations that aims to alleviate poverty in rural areas, recently extended a loan of USD 29 million to the government of Uganda to support the Project for Financial Inclusion in Rural Areas (PROFIRA). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Dutch Pension Fund PGB to Invest $22.6m in Actiam Institutional Microfinance Fund III

Persoonsgebonden Budget (PGB), the pension fund for the Dutch printing industry and formerly SNS Asset Management, will invest EUR 20 million (USD 22.6 million) to Actiam Institutional Microfinance Fund III, which is managed by Actiam Impact Investing. An arm of asset manager Actiam, Actiam Impact Investing provides debt and subdebt funding to microfinance institutions (MFIs) [1] [2].  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vikram Akula Buys 26% Stake in India’s Vaya Finserv

Vikram Akula, the founder and former chairman of Indian group-lender SKS Microfinance, recently bought 26-percent stake in the start-up Vaya Finserv. Launched in 2014, Vaya Finserv has plans to acquire a “small finance bank” license, which will it will use to provide credit to individuals in India who have been rejected by traditional banks, primarily women’s self-help groups. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nigeria’s Bank of Industry (BOI) Earmarks $105m for Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Country

The Bank of Industry (BOI), which was established by the Nigerian government to promote domestic sectors such as agriculture and finance in Nigeria, recently earmarked NGN 19.8 billion (USD 105 million) to support micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: e-MFP Survey of Investors in Tier 2/3 Microfinance Institutions; The Business of Doing Good; Benchmarking Inclusive Growth and Development

“Annual Survey 2014, e-MFP Action Group of Investors in Tier 2/3 MFIs;” prepared by Gabriela Erice, Daniel Rozas and e-MFP in collaboration with the e-MFP Action Group of Investors in Tier-2/3 Microfinance Institutions; published by the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP); 2015; 22 pages, available at http://www.e-mfp.eu/sites/default/files/resources/2015/01/Annual%20Survey%202014%20-%20final.pdf

The “Investors in Tier 2/3 MFIs Action Group” of the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), a Luxembourg-based network of approximately 130 microfinance organizations and individuals, has released the results of its third annual survey detailing the analysis of investments of the action group members for the year 2013 [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Loans $45.3m to Union bancaire pour le commerce et l’industrie (UBCI) of Tunisia for On-lending to Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in London, has announced that it will loan EUR 40 million (USD 45.3 million) to Union bancaire pour le commerce et l’industrie (UBCI), the Tunisian commercial banking subsidiary of BNP Paribas, a French financial group. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: DEG, EBRD Loan $10m – Part in Local Currency – to Bai Tushum of Kyrgyz Republic for On-lending to Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)

The Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft GmbH (DEG), a German development finance institution offering long-term project and company financing, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in London, have announced that the two institutions will collectively loan the equivalent of USD 10 million to Bai Tushum Bank (BTB), a provider of microfinance services in the Kyrgyz Republic. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Union (EU), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Launch $78m Program to Support Small, Medium-sized Enterprises in Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine

The European Union (EU) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in London, have announced a joint program to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Movistar, MasterCard Collaborate to Launch Mobile Money Service “Tu Dinero Móvil” in Peru

Movistar, the Spanish mobile phone operator owned by Telefónica S.A., and MasterCard, the US-based payments and technology company, recently launched “Tu dinero móvil” (Your mobile money), which reportedly is the first electronic money service operating in Peru [1]. The service will allow Movistar’s 16 million mobile users in Peru to perform financial transactions such as depositing and withdrawing money, refilling mobile balances and purchasing goods in the 65,000 establishments in Peru that are affiliated with MasterCard [2].  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Développement international Desjardins (DID) to Establish 4 More Entrepreneur Financial Centers in Tunisia, Elsewhere in Africa, Latin America

Développement international Desjardins (DID), a Canadian nonprofit providing technical support and investment for the community finance sector in emerging economies, has announced that it will establish four new entrepreneur financial centers (EFCs) in Africa and Latin America. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Green for Growth Fund, Southeast Europe (GGF) Loans $2m to ACBA Leasing of Armenia to Boost Energy Efficiency for SMEs, Large Companies

The Green for Growth Fund, Southeast Europe (GGF), a Germany-based fund that invests in energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy sources, recently disbursed a senior loan of USD 2 million to Agricultural Cooperative Bank of Armenia Leasing (ACBA Leasing). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL EVENT: Financial Services for the Poor: Lessons and Implications of the Latest Research on Credit; February 27, 2015; Washington DC, USA

Event Name: Services for the Poor: Lessons and Implications of the Latest Research on Credit

Event Date: February 27, 2015

Event Location: Preston Auditorium, World Bank Headquarters, Washington DC

Cost: The event is free of charge, however advance registration is necessary.

Summary of Event: This conference will present the findings from randomized evaluations that evaluate the impacts of microfinance in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Mongolia and Morocco. Attendees also will explore tools intended to increase the outreach and impact of financial services for low-income people.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Etisalat, First Bank of Nigeria Merge Easywallet, Firstmonie Mobile Money

Etisalat, a United Arab Emirates-based telecommunications services provider, and First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), a commercial bank based in the Nigerian state of Lagos, recently fused FBN’s “Firstmonie Mobile Money,” a service that allows customers to access their FirstBank accounts as well as transfer funds through their mobile devices [2], and Etisalat’s “Easywallet,” a service allowing money transfers, airtime top-up, and payment for goods and services via mobile phones [3]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC Raises Stake in Indian Microlender Bandhan Financial Services with $94m Equity Investment

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 raised its stake in Bandhan Financial Services, an India-based microfinance institution (MFI) that offers loans for health emergencies and microenterprise, with an investment of INR 5.8 billion (USD 94.4 million). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India Completes Phase I of Jan-Dhan Initiative to Provide Banking Services to Every Household

Arun Jaitley, the Indian Finance Minister, reportedly announced that the government has completed Phase I of the Jan-Dhan initiative, a scheme created by Prime Minister Modi to give all Indians access to banking services, including credit, savings, insurance, direct benefits transfer and electronic payments. Continue reading