MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mobile Services Firm Digicel Invests $5m in Bima to Promote Microinsurance in Asia-Pacific, Caribbean, Central America

Digicel, a Bermuda-based cellular network provider that operates in 30 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific, recently invested USD 5 million in Bima, a Sweden-based mobile microinsurance provider that operates in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific, to expand microinsurance product offerings in the Caribbean and the Asia-Pacific region. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Purchases Entire $42m Issuance of Bonds by Rural Microfinance Institution Bancamía of Colombia

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that offers financial services to businesses and governments in developing countries with the aim of increasing economic growth, recently announced that it purchased the entire stake of ordinary bonds recently issued by Bancamía S.A. (Corporation), a Colombian microfinance institution (MFI). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) Loans $8.3m in Local Currency to Patria Credit of Romania

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV), recently announced that it will disburse a senior loan equivalent to EUR 7 million (USD 8.3 million) but denominated in Romanian leu to Patria Credit IFN SA (Non-banking Financial Institution Corporation), a microfinance institution (MFI) in Romania. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) Loans $8.3 to Agricover Credit of Romania for Agricultural Micro-, Small Businesses

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV), recently announced that it will disburse a senior loan of EUR 7 million (USD 8.3 million) to Agricover Credit IFN SA (Non-banking Financial Institution Corporation), a lender to farmers in Romania. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Nigerian Bancassurance Forum 2015; January 8-9, 2015; Lagos, Nigeria

Event Name: Nigerian Bancassurance Forum 2015

Event Date: January 8 – January 9, 2015

Event Location: Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria

Cost: The cost to attend is NGN 100,000 (USD 553).

Summary of Event: Themed “The CBN Policy on Bancassurance in Nigeria,” this conference offers panel discussions and presentations on various topics related to the bank insurance model (also known as bancassurance), including as it is impacted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Sells Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company of Japan $100m in “Inclusive Business Bonds”

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that offers financial services to businesses and governments in developing countries with the aim of increasing economic growth, recently announced that it has sold five-year “inclusive business bonds” valued at MXN 1.5 billion (USD 100 million) to Japan’s Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company (Dai-ichi Life), a firm that offers life, property and casualty insurance as well as investment trust and related services. Continue reading

IMPACT INVESTING EVENT: Triple Bottom Line Investing Presents “TBLI Conference @Booth/Kellogg;” January 23, 2015; Chicago, Illinois

Event Name: TBLI Conference @Booth/Kellogg

Event Date: January 23, 2015

Event Location: Gleacher Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Cost: The cost to attend is USD 700, with discounts offered to investors, NGO representatives and students.

Summary of Event: This conference will include panels on green technology, structuring deals, impact measurement and challenges specific to working in emerging markets. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) Loans $600k to Macedonian Microfinance Institution (MFI) Horizonti to On-Lend to Small-Scale Farmers, Rural Microentrepreneurs

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV), recently announced it will offer a senior loan of EUR 500,000 (USD 600,100) to the Foundation for Economic Development “Horizonti”, Skopje (Horizonti), a Macedonian microfinance institution (MFI). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) Loans $30m to Finansbank of Turkey to Support Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV), recently announced that it will disburse a senior loan of EUR 25 million (USD 30 million) to Finansbank, a commercial bank in Turkey that is a subsidiary of the National Bank of Greece Group, a Greek financial conglomerate. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Mobile Money and Digital Payments Asia, January 20-22, 2015; Jakarta, Indonesia

Event Name: Mobile Money and Digital Payments Asia

Event Date: January 20 – January 22, 2015

Event Location: The Ritz-Carlton, Jakarta, Indonesia

Cost: The cost to attend is USD 2,399 with various discounts available, including a reduction of 20 percent for readers of MicroCapital available via the code ASIA15MIC. There is no fee for retail operators to attend.

Summary of Event: This conference will bring together payments professionals address interoperability, customer retention, regulatory issues and other topics related to Asia’s digital payments ecosystem. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), The MasterCard Foundation Award $900k to Advans Cote d’Ivoire, MFS Africa, Money Express for Branchless Banking Projects in Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal

CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based nonprofit that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access, and The MasterCard Foundation, a Canada-based nonprofit that aims to promote youth learning and financial inclusion in emerging markets, recently awarded a total of USD 900,000 to three projects in countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) to expand the availability of banking in the region. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: 5th Annual Africa Banking & Finance Conference, May 19 – 20, 2015; Nairobi, Kenya

Event Name: 5th Annual Africa Banking & Finance Conference

NEW DATES: May 19 – May 20, 2015

Event Location: Laico Regency Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya

Cost: The cost to register is USD 1200.

Summary of Event: Themed “Banking of the Future,” this conference offers presentations, panel discussions and business-to-business meetings on various topics relating to the African economic landscape, such as corporate trade finance, the emerging mortgage market, investment banking, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and different emerging issues in the region. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: WestBridge Capital Invests $16m to Acquire 20% Equity Stake in India’s Aptus Value Housing Finance

WestBridge Capital, an investment company with offices in India, Mauritius and the United States, recently invested a total of INR 98 crore (USD 16 million) to acquire 20 percent of the shares of Aptus Value Housing Finance, an India-based company that seeks to provide affordable housing finance, primarily for middle-income, self-employed customers [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), Green for Growth Fund (GGF) Loan $24.2m to Macedonia-based Halkbank AD Skopje to Support Energy Efficiency; Housing; Micro-, Small Enterprises (MSEs)

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV), and Green for Growth Fund, Southeast Europe (GGF), a Germany-based fund that invests in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, recently granted loans of EUR 10 million (USD 12.1 million) each to Halkbank AD Skopje, a Macedonia-based bank, for expanding the bank’s work with micro- and small enterprises (MSEs) as well as to support energy efficiency and the housing market. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: GSMA Mobile World Congress, March 2-5, 2015; Barcelona, Spain

Event Name: 2015 GSMA Mobile World Congress

Event Date: March 2 – March 5, 2015

Event Location: Fira Gran Via, Barcelona, Spain

Cost: Prices range from EUR 740 (USD 901) to EUR 4,999 (USD 6,090) depending on the type of pass purchased. Discounts are available for members of the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association. Additional information related to costs and fees may be found at: http://www.mobileworldcongress.com/attend/register/passes-prices/.

Summary of Event: This conference features keynote speakers representing various mobile operators, device manufacturers and vendors from around the world. Depending on the type of pass selected, attendees can partake in different panel discussions and exhibitions to discuss and explore trends in mobile technology. Continue reading