MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) to Add 571 Branches to Reach Rural Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), Expand Agricultural Lending

Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), a commercial bank owned by the government of Indonesia that offers traditional services as well as microlending, reportedly has announced its intention to add 571 branches to its existing network of 9,808 retail outlets in the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) Commits $9m to Sanad Fund to Support Micro-, Small and Medium-Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, a Swiss government agency that works in developing countries and is known by the acronym SECO, reportedly has invested EUR 5.5 million (USD 7.4 million) in the Sanad Fund for Micro-, Small and Medium-Enterprise (MSME), a Luxembourg-based entity that funds financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Court Rules Against Co-Founder of SMILE Microfinance, Leaving Control to US-Based Developing World Markets

An Indian court has denied a petition from Dr N Sethuraman, the co-founder of Semam Microfinance Investment Literacy and Empowerment (SMILE Microfinance), leaving control of the Indian microfinance institution (MFI) unchanged in the hands of Developing World Markets (DWM), a US-based investment company that has owned a stake amounting to approximately two thirds of SMILE since 2010. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) to Loan $6.8m to Intesa Leasing Belgrade of Serbia to Support Micro-, Small Enterprises

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV) backed by the European Union, recently has announced a new partnership agreement with Intesa Leasing Belgrade (ILB) of Serbia, the lease financing arm of Banca Intesa Belgrade, a Serbian commercial bank that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Microcredit Interest Rate Determinants; Mobile Phones and Microinsurance; Health Financing Through Gifts and Remittances in Kenya

“Microcredit Interest Rates and Their Determinants 2004-2011;” by Richard Rosenberg, Scott Gaul, William Ford and Olga Tomilova; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); June 2013; 32 pages; available at http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/Forum-Microcredit-Interest-Rates-and-Their-Determinants-June-2013_1.pdf

This study explores the factors affecting the determination of interest rates that microfinance institutions (MFIs) charge their customers by analyzing financial data reported from 2004 to 2011 by MFIs to the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), a US-based nonprofit data provider. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Loans $4m to Grooming Centre in Effort to to Reach 780k Nigerian Microenterprises

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently announced that it has committed to loan NGN 650 million (USD 4 million) to Grooming Centre, a Nigerian microfinance institution (MFI), to assist in expanding its reach to a total of 780,000 existing small businesses by 2018, including by expanding its coverage in rural areas of the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) Loans $4m to Komercijalna Banka Banja Luka of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV), has disbursed a senior loan of EUR 3 million (USD 4.1 million) to Komercijalna Banka Banja Luka, a financial institution that is owned by Serbia-based commercial bank Komercijalna Banka Beograd. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Owner of Mibanco, Grupo Accion Comunitaria del Peru (ACP) Breaches Debt Covenant; Entire Peruvian Microfinance Sector Under Strain?

Grupo Accion Comunitaria del Peru (ACP), a Peruvian nonprofit holding company that is the majority shareholder of Peruvian microfinance institution (MFI) Mibanco, recently breached a covenant on a 10-year USD 85 million corporate bond due in 2021, resulting in a downgrade of its credit rating by Fitch, a US-based rating agency. Continue reading