MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF) Invests $500k in Equity to Acquire 8% of Kenyan Microinsurer Agriculture and Risk Enterprise (ACRE), Loans $334k to Ecumenical Church Loan Fund (ECLOF) for Technical Assistance

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), which is based in Luxembourg and invests in “social businesses,” recently informed MicroCapital that it has made an investment of USD 500,000 in Nairobi-based Agriculture and Risk Enterprise Limited (ACRE), a microinsurance provider that aims to launch products in East and West Africa in exchange for an 8-percent stake in the company. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF) Loans $3m to Indonesia’s Mitra Bisnis Keluarga Ventura (MBK), $1m to Azerbaijan’s Finance for Development (FinDev)

The Luxembourg-based Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), which provides financial services to “social businesses,” recently informed MicroCapital that it has provided a three-year local-currency loan equivalent in value to EUR 2.1 million (USD 2.9 million) to Mitra Bisnis Keluarga Ventura (MBK), a microfinance institution (MFI) located in Indonesia. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Biniog Sathi Banking Model Employs Islamic Concept of Zakat in Effort to Minimize Credit Default

Mabroor Mahmood, who operates the online “Ideas for Development” think tank, recently began selling his Biniog Sathi banking model, which incorporates Zakat, a Muslim practice of giving charity, to protect against credit default [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) Loans $25m to Bank of Georgia for On-lending to Micro, Small Enterprises (MSEs)

Bank of Georgia, a Tbilisi-based commercial bank that offers corporate and retail banking, wealth management, brokerage and insurance services in Georgia, Ukraine and Belarus, recently borrowed EUR 18.5 million (USD 25.2 million) under a senior loan agreement from the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based, government-backed microfinance investment vehicle. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: “Harry Potter” Cinema Actress Emma Watson to Serve as Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations (UN) Women

United Nations (UN) Women, the UN organization “dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women,” has announced Emma Watson, a British actress, will serve as Goodwill Ambassador for the organization. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Citigroup, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Jointly Loan $10m to Microfinance Institution (MFI) ACBA Credit Agricole Bank of Armenia

Citigroup, a financial services corporation based in the US city of New York, and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a government-backed development finance institution based in Washington DC, recently announced that they will partner to fund two jointly funded loans with a total value of USD 10 million for ACBA Credit Agricole Bank (formerly known as the Agricultural Cooperative Bank of Armenia), a Yerevan-based microfinance institution (MFI) that specializes in the financing of the agriculture sector of Armenia. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF) Loans $200k to Mec Fadec of Senegal, $680k to TIAVO of Madagascar

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based organization founded by French Bank Credit Agricole and Bangladeshi NGO Grameen Trust, recently informed MicroCapital that it has disbursed the second half of a loan in local currency equal to EUR 152,000 (USD 207,000) to Mec Fadec, a Senegalese microfinance institution (MFI), and a loan of EUR 500,000 (USD 681,000) to Tahiry Ifamonjena Amin’ny Vola (TIAVO), a Madagascar-based MFI. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Increases Syndicated Loan to National Development Bank of Sri Lanka from $125m to $200m for On-Lending to Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the World Bank Group, has increased the size of the syndicated loan that it provided in March 2014 to the National Development Bank (NDB), a financial services company owned by the government of Sri Lanka, from USD 125 million to USD 200 million. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION WRAP-UP: “FinDev Azerbaijan: Retaining Key Staff Through a ‘Pay for Performance’ Culture;” by Sevda Huseynova, Jalal Aliyev, Kinga Dabrowska; published by Microfinance Centre

“FinDev Azerbaijan: Retaining Key Staff Through a ‘Pay for Performance’ Culture;” by Sevda Huseynova, Jalal Aliyev and Kinga Dabrowska; published by the Microfinance Centre; March 2014; 7 pages; available at http://www.mfc.org.pl/sites/mfc.org.pl/files/FinDev_SP_Fund_ENG.pdf

The authors of this paper describe Finance for Development Limited Liability Company (LLC) (FinDev), an Azerbaijan-based institution that offers economic opportunities for poor people, particularly the evolution of its “staff performance appraisal system and salary compensation scheme.” Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION WRAP-UP: “The Promise of Microfinance and Women’s Empowerment; What Does the Evidence Say?;” by Dina Pomeranz; published by EY (Ernst & Young)

“The Promise of Microfinance and Women’s Empowerment; What Does the Evidence Say?;” by Dina Pomeranz; published by EY (Ernst & Young Global Limited), February 2014; 24 pages; available at http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/EY_-_Microfinance_and_womens_empowerment/$FILE/EY-The%20promise-of-microfinance-and-womens-empowerment.pdf

In this paper, Dr Pomeranz gives a brief overview of the history of microfinance as well as is discussing the “size, magnitude and geographical reach” of the sector, citing that approximately 3,600 microfinance institutions (MFIs) served 200 million customers globally as of 2010. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Partners with Chadian Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation to Establish Foundation for Leasing Services in Chad

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the World Bank Group, recently signed a cooperation agreement with the Chadian Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the governmental body charged with organizing and implementing development projects in the country, to support the development of leasing options for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Chad. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Invest. Catalyze. Mainstream. The Indian Impact Investing Story;” by Nisha Dutt, Usha Ganesh, Prashant Chandrasekaran, Payal Agarwal, Samved Patil, Ankit Gupta; Published by Intellecap

“Invest. Catalyze. Mainstream. The Indian Impact Investing Story;” by Nisha Dutt, Usha Ganesh, Prashant Chandrasekaran, Payal Agarwal, Samved Patil and Ankit Gupta; published by Intellecap, April 2014, 70 pages, available at http://intellecap.com/publications/invest-catalyze-mainstream-india-impact-investing-story

India is a major hub for impact investing – an investment approach that pursues financial returns while seeking social and environmental improvements in low-income communities. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Allows Non-banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) to Work as Agents for Banks

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), a government agency charged with overseeing the Indian financial sector, has revised its regulations to permit non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) that do not accept deposits to act as business correspondents for Indian banks, providing limited financial services to clients in unbanked areas. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Econet Wireless Accused of Monopolistic Practices Regarding Mobile Money Service

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of the South Africa-based telecommunications company Econet Wireless Group, reportedly is being investigated by Zimbabwe’s Competitions and Tariffs Commission (CTC), the authority charged with regulating trade in the country, over allegations of monopolistic business practices [1][2]. Continue reading