MICROFINANCE EVENT: Committing to Action: Accelerating Financial Inclusion through Partnership in Uganda; January 17 – 18, 2017; Kampala, Uganda

Event Name: Committing to Action: Accelerating Financial Inclusion through Partnership in Uganda

Event Date: January 17 – 18, 2017

Event Location: City Royal Resort Hotel, Kampala, Uganda

Summary of Event: This event will focus on the current state of financial inclusion in Uganda. On Day 1 speakers will discuss methods for increasing the presence of women in the workplace, implementing digital solutions, and “product development for rural outreach and agriculture” [1]. Day 2 will focus on Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank, Armeconombank (AEB) Borrow $8.7m via Symbiotics’ Bond Platform to Benefit SMEs in Armenia

Switzerland-based Symbiotics SA, which specializes in micro-, small and medium-sized enterprise investment, recently issued bonds for two Armenian banks: USD 5 million for ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank and USD 3.7 million for Armeconombank (AEB). The latter was the second of two tranches this year totaling USD 10 million for AEB. All of these transactions were intermediated through Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Islamic Development Bank’s ICD, Dragon Capital to Develop Sharia-compliant Investment “Silk-way Growth Fund” for SMEs in Kazakhstan

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), a development finance institution of the Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB), and Dragon Capital Partners, the venture capital and private equity arm of Ukraine-based Dragon Capital Group, recently announced the intention to develop the Silk-way Growth Fund, a Sharia-compliant investment fund benefitting “high growth” small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) involved in manufacturing in Kazakhstan. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Islamic Development Bank’s ICD, Dragon Capital to Develop Sharia-compliant Investment “Silk-way Growth Fund” for SMEs in Kazakhstan Posted in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Banque Atlantique, Express Union, MTN, WorldRemit to Offer Digital Remittance Services in Cameroon

WorldRemit, a UK-based online money transfer service, recently announced that it will partner with Mobile Telecommunications Network Group (MTN), a South Africa-based telecommunications provider; Express Union, a Cameroon-based financial services firm; and Banque Atlantique, a Togo-based retail bank, to offer digital remittance services in Cameroon. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Geodata for Inclusive Finance and Food; February 16, 2017; Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Event Name: Geodata for Inclusive Finance and Food

Event Date: February 16, 2017

Event Location: Hulstkamp Gebouw, Maaskade 116, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Cost: This event is open by invitation only.

Summary of Event: This event will address how “geodata” can be used to expand inclusive finance and food security. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Digital Financial Services: Are We Realising Their Full Potential?; January 19, 2017; London, UK

Event Name: Digital Financial Services: Are We Realising Their Full Potential?

Event Date: January 19, 2017

Event Location: Citigroup Centre, 33 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, UK

Cost: There is no registration fee, but in order to attend you must purchase a membership to the Financial Inclusion Forum unless it is your first time at one of the organization’s events.

Summary of Event: This event will address concerns regarding digital financial services and how to move beyond the focus on payments to increase the availability and usage of savings, credit and insurance. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UN’s Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) Provides $10m to The Currency Exchange Fund (TCX) to Subsidize Third-party Lending in Local Currency to Microfinance Institutions in Myanmar

The Currency Exchange Fund (TCX), which is based in the Netherlands, recently raised USD 10 million from the UN-managed Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) to reduce the cost of foreign-exchange hedging for “impact lenders” funding microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Myanmar. TCX provides this hedging service, absorbing the currency-exchange risk on the loans, so the lenders can commit US dollars while the MFIs access funding denominated in kyat. Via multiple microloan repayment cycles over three years, the MFIs are expected to gain sufficient liquidity from the LIFT-supported facility to fund Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: C-Quadrat’s Dual Return Vision Microfinance Funds Loan $22m in Burkina Faso, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Paraguay, Sri Lanka

Austria’s C-Quadrat Asset Management informed MicroCapital today that its Dual Return Vision Microfinance and Dual Return Vision Microfinance-Local Currency funds loaned a total approximately equivalent to USD 22 million during November to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institution EFC Tunisia Nets $2.1m from Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD): Half for Technical Assistance, Half as Equity via Proparco

The Entrepreneurs Financial Centre (EFC) of Tunisia, a microfinance institution (MFI) operated by Canada’s Développement International Desjardins (DID), recently obtained an equity investment of EUR 1 million (USD 1.1 million) from Société de Promotion et de Participation pour La Coopération Economique (Proparco), a development finance institution of the French government’s Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD). AFD also committed EUR 1 million (USD 1.1 million) for Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institution EFC Tunisia Nets $2.1m from Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD): Half for Technical Assistance, Half as Equity via Proparco Posted in Africa, Deals, Key Players

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Symbiotics Issues $11m in Bonds for Coris Bank International of Burkina Faso

Symbiotics SA, a Swiss firm specializing in micro-, small and medium-sized enterprise investment, recently issued bonds totaling EUR 10 million (USD 10.6 million) for Coris Bank International SA, an institution in Burkina Faso whose mission includes a particular emphasis on serving small and medium-sized enterprises. The issue was transacted through Continue reading

SPECIAL REPORT: The Place of MFIs in the Financial Inclusion Ecosystem of the Mekong Region

TheBanking With the Poor Network roles of MFIs in financial systems vary significantly from country to country, even within the Mekong region. Somphone Sisenglath, Managing Director of Ekphatthana Microfinance Institution, described the Lao industry as “very young,” with the median MFI just three years old. Most MFIs operate in the capital, Vientiane, while 80 percent of the population is rural. Since it often takes an hour to travel between villages, it is very expensive Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Asia-Pacific Financial Inclusion Summit, Hanoi, Vietnam, March 21-22, 2017

Event Name: Asia-Pacific Financial Inclusion Summit

Event Date: March 21-22, 2017; optional field visits on March 23, 2017

Event Location: JW Marriott Hotel, Hanoi, Vietnam

Event Summary: Themed “Advancing Financial Inclusion in a Digital Age,” this event will include plenaries on topics such as collaboration and regulating digital financial services. Breakout sessions will address topics such as blockchain technology, gender, serving youth and reaching “the last mile.” On March 23, participants may visit with staff and clients of either Tinh Thuong Microfinance Institution or Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kenya’s FarmDrive Nets Technical Assistance Funds from CGAP to Use Satellite Imagery to Forecast Smallholder Farmers’ Revenues

FarmDrive, a for-profit Kenyan organization seeking to reduce the risk of lending to farmers, recently received an undisclosed amount of technical assistance funding from CGAP, a US-based NGO also known as the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, to allow it to use satellite data on “planting cycles, crop yields, and trends in production to help forecast future revenues, timing of income and potential Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kenya’s FarmDrive Nets Technical Assistance Funds from CGAP to Use Satellite Imagery to Forecast Smallholder Farmers’ Revenues Posted in Africa, Agriculture / Rural Finance

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Symbiotics Issues $22m in Bonds for Banco Improsa, Grupo Promerica to Benefit Costa Rican, Salvadoran SMEs

Symbiotics, a Swiss firm specializing in micro-, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) investment, recently issued bonds for two Central American banks serving SMEs. This included bonds totaling USD 15.7 million for Inversiones Financieras Promerica, the Salvadoran unit of Grupo Promerica, which was founded in Nicaragua and now serves nine countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Symbiotics also issued its second tranche of 2016 for Costa Rica’s Banco Improsa in the amount of Continue reading

SPECIAL REPORT: The Impact of Finance on the Development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) in Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam

ThisBanking With the Poor Network discussion of supporting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) centered on (1) building systems to boost institutions’ confidence in lending to the sector; and (2) the non-financial needs of MSMEs.

Gerald Sun, Vice President, Head of Sales for Commercial Payments Asia/Pacific at MasterCard Worldwide, said “the banks have trouble making a risk assessment cheaply enough. They lend to big organizations based on their income. For SMEs [small and medium enterprises], they revert to looking at assets as they would for consumer lending. The bank can value a house or car, but not a ton of fertilized chicken eggs.” MasterCard is addressing this issue by Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: 16 Additional Institutions Commit to World Bank’s Goal of Achieving Universal Financial Access by 2020

The US-based multilateral World Bank Group (WBG) recently announced that 16 additional financial institutions have committed to partner to work toward “universal financial access” (UFA) by 2020, bringing the size of the group to 30 organizations. The new partners, which have committed to helping a total of 168 million people open new transaction accounts by 2020, are:

(1) the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, which operates in Africa, Asia and the Middle East;
(2) Ant Financial (Ali Baba Group) of China; Continue reading

SPECIAL REPORT: Policy and Regulation in the Mekong: Developing Strategic Frameworks for Financial Inclusion

The Banking With the Poor Networkassembled regulators and trade group leaders offered a litany of current and soon-to-be-released strategies to create a nurturing environment for pro-client financial services. It is critically important to Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: D.light Raises $15m in Equity from Energy Access Ventures, KawiSafi, NewQuest, Omidyar to Expand Sales of Solar Products via Microloans, Develop Televisions for Emerging Markets

D.light, a privately-owned retailer of solar appliances based in the US city of San Francisco, recently raised USD 22.5 million in funding to expand its PayGo platform, which offers microloans to finance purchases of solar products. Continue reading