MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), MasterCard Partner to Build Inclusive Payment Systems in Low-Income Economies

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a United Nations (UN) organization that engages in “sustainable management”[1] of natural resources and works toward the eradication of hunger, and MasterCard, a US-based payments and technology company, recently formed a partnership to create “inclusive payment systems”[2] to support small-scale farmers and low-income households in developing countries. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: On “Microfinance in Crisis,” an Interview with Edvardas Bumsteinas of the European Investment Bank, Host of the European Microfinance Award Ceremony

MicroCapital: Please tell us a bit about how you to came to work in microfinance.

Edvardas Bumsteinas: My interest in microfinance began with a summer job some 20 years ago when I was a student at the London School of Economics. At the request of Lithuania’s Open Society Institute, I spent one of my summers helping to set up external financing facilities for the Lithuanian Credit Union’s network. During my meetings with staff members and clients, I was impressed with positive results that those member-owned financial institutions were having in their communities.

MC: In reading about the European Investment Bank (EIB)-funded Microfinance in Crisis project, I was struck by the language “The main thing is to make the system user-centric, not provider-centric, and to consider microfinance (and more broadly finance) as a common good.” Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Deutsche Bank Raises $100m for Microfinance Investment Vehicle European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE)

Deutsche Bank, a Germany-based financial services company, recently announced that it had raised USD 100 million from unspecified private investors for the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Thailand’s JMT Network Services Establishes JP Finance Co Ltd to Offer Microfinance in Myanmar

JMT Network Services Public Company Limited, a debt collector and loan provider in Thailand under Jay Mart Public Company Limited, recently announced that the organization and unnamed partners aim to establish a joint venture, JP Finance Co Ltd. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Grants National Microfinance Banking License to Fortis Microfinance Bank (Fortis MFB)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently granted a microfinance banking license to Fortis Microfinance Bank (Fortis MFB), a privately owned microfinance institution in Nigeria [1]. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit: October 6 – 8, 2015, Arlington, Virginia, USA

Event Name: Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit 2015

Event Date: October 6 – 8, 2015

Event Location: Westin Crystal City Hotel, Arlington, Virginia, USA Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Jordan’s Queen Noor, King Hussein Foundation Launch Sharia-Compliant Microfinance Institution Ethmar

Queen Noor of Jordan, the founder and chairperson of the King Hussein Foundation (KHF), recently announced the launch of Ethmar, a microfinance institution (MFI) that is compliant with Shariah, the Islamic legal system. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Bandhan Bank Sets Deposit Interest Rates, Will Open 3 Branches in South India

Bandhan Bank, an Indian commercial bank based in Kolkata, recently announced that it plans to open one branch each in the cities of Bengaluru, Koramangala and Bannerghatta, all of which are located in southern India. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Asian Development Bank (ADB) to Finance a Loan Program of $400m to Promote Financial Inclusion in Indonesia

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), a Philippines-based multilateral development finance institution, has committed to loaning USD 400 million toward its Financial Market Development and Inclusion Program (FMDIP) for Indonesia. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: C-Quadrat Asset Management’s Vision Microfinance Funds Loan $7m to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Cambodia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Nigeria, India

During August 2015, Austrian asset manager C-Quadrat Asset Management issued loans worth the equivalent of USD 7 million via its two Vision Microfinance funds to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Cambodia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Nigeria and India. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) of India Advises Members to Reduce Interest Rates

The Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), a trade organization composed of 47 Indian microlenders, has advised its members to reduce their interest rates voluntarily by “at least 25 basis points” [1] by the end of September 2015. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Starbucks to Commit Additional $30m to Global Farmer Fund Program; Fairtrade Access Fund, Root Capital to Assist with Loans to Coffee Farmers

Starbucks Coffee Company, a US-based coffee retailer, recently announced that it would commit an additional USD 30 million to its Global Farmer Fund program, one of the organization’s “ethical sourcing initiatives”[1] that aims to ensure the sustainability of the organization’s production chain up to 2020. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFMR Holdings Raises $25m from Accion, LeapFrog, Lok Capital to Accelerate Financial Inclusion in India

IFMR Holdings, an arm of Indian nonprofit IFMR Trust, recently raised USD 25 million from Accion, a US-based nonprofit organization; LeapFrog Investments, a for-profit private equity fund based in Mauritius; and Lok Capital, an India-based microfinance investment vehicle. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Peru Enacts National Financial Inclusion Strategy

The government of Peru recently enacted a National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) after consultation with the World Bank Group (WBG), a multilateral development organization that aims to improve living standards in developing countries. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) May Loan $70m to NBK-Egypt for On-lending to Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral investment institution headquartered in London, England, is considering extending a credit line of USD 70 million to the National Bank of Kuwait-Egypt (NBK-Egypt), a commercial bank based in Cairo, Egypt. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Belarusbank to Host World Savings Bank Institute (WSBI) Meeting, September 30 – October 1, 2015, Minsk, Belarus

Event Name: World Savings Bank Institute (WSBI) Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) Meeting 2015

Event Dates: September 30 – October 1, 2015

Event Location: Renaissance Minsk Hotel, Minsk, Belarus Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: The Microfinance Association, Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network Present 1st International Investors Forum on Microfinance, September 8-9, 2015, Accra, Ghana

Event Name: 1st International Investors Forum on Microfinance

Event Date: September 8-9, 2015

Event Location: African Regent Hotel, Accra, Ghana Continue reading

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