MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Signs Deals with AB Bank Rwanda, IHS Holding of Nigeria, Urwego Opportunity Bank of Rwanda to Expand Microfinance, Telecommunications

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the World Bank Group, reportedly has signed deals with AB Bank Rwanda (ABR), a microfinance bank (MFB) affiliated with Access Microfinance Holding of Germany; IHS Holding Limited, a mobile services infrastructure company based in Nigeria that operates in five African countries; and Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB), a foreign-owned Rwandan MFB, in an effort to increase access to telecommunications and financial opportunities in Rwanda. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Elevar Equity, Omidyar Network, Saama Capital, WestBridge Capital Invest $27m in Equity in India’s Vistaar Finance for Lending to Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

Elevar Equity, which invests in “disconnected communities” from offices in India and the US; Omidyar Network, a US-based investor in “socially responsible” organizations; Saama Capital, an India-focused venture capital fund registered in Mauritius; and WestBridge Capital, an India-based investment company with offices in India, Mauritius and the United States, reportedly have collectively invested INR 1.6 billion (USD 27 million) in Bangalore-based non-banking finance company Vistaar Finance (Vistaar). Continue reading

SPECIAL REPORT: June 15 is Deadline for $132k European Microfinance Award: “Micofinance and the Environment”

June 15 is the deadline to apply to the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), a Luxembourg-based network of approximately 130 microfinance organizations and individuals, to win EUR 100,000 (USD 132,000) as part of the Fifth European Microfinance Award, which is themed “Microfinance and the Environment.” Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tigo, Airtel, Zantel Link Mobile Money Systems in Tanzania

Millicom International Cellular, a Luxembourg-based telecommunications company also known as Tigo; Airtel Tanzania, a subsidiary of Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel; and Zantel Tanzania, a telecommunications company owned by Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates, recently announced an agreement to allow customers of the three firms’ mobile money services to send and receive money to and from users of all three systems. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL) Upgrades Rating of Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF) Microfinance

Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL), an Indian ratings, research, risk and policy advisory company, has elevated the rating of Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF) Microfinance, a microfinance institution (MFI) based in the Indian state of Kerala, to “mfr2.” [1][2] Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Lends $1m to Première Agence de Microfinance au Burkina Faso, $239k to Biotropical of Cameroon

Grameen Credit Agricole, a Luxembourg-based organization that provides financing to microfinance institutions (MFIs), recently informed MicroCapital that it has granted a 3-year loan of EUR 770,000 (USD 1.05 million) to the Première Agence de Microfinance au Burkina Faso (PAMF-BF), an MFI in Burkina Faso, and a loan of EUR 175,000 (USD 239,000) to Biotropical, a Cameroon-based fruit company that works with small farmers. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Luxembourg Fund Labeling Agency (LuxFLAG) Launches Environment, Social, Governance (ESG) Label to Certify Investment Vehicles

The Luxembourg Fund Labeling Agency (LuxFLAG), a nonprofit organization that certifies the operations of investment vehicles that support microfinance and environmental initiatives, recently began offering a third category of fund label for investment funds integrating Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) principles in their investment strategies. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Absolute Portfolio Management’s Vision Microfinance Funds Loan $5m to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Azerbaijan, El Salvador, Tajikistan

Two funds controlled by Absolute Portfolio Management (APM), an arm of Austria-based asset group C-Quadrat, have distributed credits worth approximately USD 5 million to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Azerbaijan, El Salvador and Tajikistan. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: SKS Trust Advisors Sells 7.6% of SKS Microfinance, Decreasing Stake to 4.8%

SKS Trust Advisors Private Limited, the India-based trustee of five mutual benefit trusts benefiting groups who borrow from SKS Microfinance Limited, reportedly has sold a 7.6-percent stake in SKS Microfinance, a for-profit Indian microfinance institution (MFI), to an unspecified buyer. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC), Colombian Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Superintendence of Corporations to Facilitate Lending Based on Movable Collateral

The International Financial Corporation (IFC), the private investment arm of the World Bank Group, has partnered with the Superintendence of Corporations of Colombia, a government agency that regulates corporations, and Confecamaras, the Colombian Federation of Chambers of Commerce, to launch a lending framework that is intended to facilitate financial access for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the country [1].

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Likely to Loan Azeri DemirBank $50m for On-lending to Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs); $5m to Promote Residential, Business Energy Efficiency

The London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is considering issuing a syndicated A/B loan of USD 50 million to provide capital to Azerbaijan-based, “socially oriented” bank DemirBank for “on-lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)”[1] in the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation, Centre International de Développement et de Recherche (CIDR) to Expand Health Microinsurance in Senegal

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the World Bank Group, and the Centre International de Développement et de Recherche (CIDR), a nongovernmental organization based in France, recently announced an agreement “to expand micro health insurance in Senegal to low-income and informally employed individuals”[1] through Pool Micro Assurance Santé, a health services provider in Senegal. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION WRAP-UP: “Spotlight on the Market, The Impact Investor Study;” by Yasemin Saltuk, Ali El Idrissi; published by J.P. Morgan Global Social Finance, Global Impact Investing Network

Spotlight on the Market, The Impact Investor Study;” published by J.P. Morgan Global Social Finance and Global Impact Investing Network; May 2014; 52 pages; available at http://www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/socialfinance/document/140502-Spotlight_on_the_market-FINAL.pdf

This study, prepared by US-based financial institution J.P. Morgan and US-based nonprofit Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), details the findings of the organizations’ fourth annual survey about “impact investments,” which are defined as those made “with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.” Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Microcredit Summit Campaign, Mexican Ministry of Economy to Host 17th Microcredit Summit “Generation Next: Innovations in Microfinance,” September 3-5, 2014, Merida, Mexico

Event Name: 17th Microcredit Summit “Generation Next: Innovations in Microfinance”

Event Date: September 3-5, 2014

Event Location: Centro de Convenciones Yucatán Siglo XXI, Merida, Mexico Continue reading