MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Central Bank of Tajikistan Unveil Draft for Mobile Banking Regulations

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral institution, and the central bank of Tajikistan have been collaborating to launch a regulatory framework with the aim of utilizing technology and retail infrastructure to help banks and other organizations offer financial services outside of bank branches in the country.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Econet’s EcoCash, MasterCard to Provide Debit Cards to Mobile Money Users in Zimbabwe

EcoCash, a mobile money service offered by South Africa-based mobile communications company Econet Wireless, and MasterCard Incorporated, a US-based payments and technology company, reportedly have reached an agreement to issue approximately 3 million MasterCard debit cards to EcoCash customers in Zimbabwe over the next five years. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Launches India-based InfrasoftTech’s OMNIEnterprise Microfinance Software in Gaza, Jordan, Syria, West Bank

InfrasoftTech, a financial software firm that was founded in 1995 and is based in Mumbai, India, reportedly has announced that the microfinance department of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides education, health care, social services has adopted InfrasoftTech’s OMNIEnterprise Microfinance Solution, a banking software system across its operations in: Gaza, Jordan, Syria and the West Bank. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Accion’s Frontier Investments Invests Equity in Britain’s Eseye, Provider of Machine-to-Machine “M2M” Services That Can Facilitate Utility Service to Low-Income Households

Accion’s Frontier Investments Group, a venture-equity initiative that seeks to invest in companies serving financially excluded populations, has invested an undisclosed amount in Eseye Limited, a UK-based machine-to-machine (M2M) technology provider, during Eseye’s series-B financing round, which raised a total of USD 9 million. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics to Host 4th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum, November 1-4, 2014, Dubai, UAE

Event Name: 4th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum

Event Date: Conference: November 1-2, 2014; Post-conference workshop: November 3-4, 2014

Event Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Symbiotics Issues $30m in Bonds to MicroCred China; India’s Arohan, Grameen Koota, Annapura Microfinance

Symbiotics, a Switzerland-based investment company that focuses on emerging markets, has completed bond transactions worth a total of USD 30 million with MicroCred China, an affiliate of the France-based MicroCred and PlaNet Finance groups; Arohan Financial Services Private Ltd., an Indian financial services company; Grameen Financial Services Private Ltd., a Bangalore-based microfinance institution (MFI) also known as Grameen Koota; and Annapurna Microfinance Private Ltd., an MFI based in the Indian state of Odisha. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) Deploys Intellect Core Banking Solution of Indian Software Firm Polaris

The Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP), a government-owned bank that offers microfinance and other services in Vietnam, recently has deployed the Intellect (R) Core Banking Solution (CBS), an enterprise platform offered by India-based Polaris Financial Technology Limited (Polaris) [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Government, Bank of Khyber (BOK) Launch $10 million Islamic Microfinance Scheme to Promote Employment for 550k Unemployed Workers in the Province

The government of the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province reportedly has committed a PKR 1 billion (USD 10 million) to an Islamic microfinance scheme to be implemented through the Bank of Khyber (BOK), a Pakistani bank that offers banking services and microfinance loans that comply with Islamic law by using concepts such as profit sharing in lieu of charging interest. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Loans $8m to Mongolia’s Khan Bank for On-Lending to Support Value Chains That Include Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral institution, reportedly has issued a loan of MNT 15 billion (USD 8 million) to Khan Bank, a commercial bank based in Mongolia, as the final tranche of a total of MNT 47 billion (USD 25 million) to be on-lent by Khan Bank to suppliers of micro-, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Mongolia.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Incofin Investment Management Launches ProPulse Fund for Private Institutional Investors to Access Microfinance Institutions in Emerging Economies

Incofin Investment Management (Incofin IM), a microfinance fund manager based in Belgium, has announced the launch of its ProPulse Fund, which is designed specifically for private institutional investors to provide financing to entrepreneurs in emerging economies via microfinance institutions (MFIs) in response to “the large demand for local currency loans.” Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Self-Selection into Credit Markets: Evidence from Agriculture in Mali;” by Lori Beaman, Dean Karlan, Bram Thuysbaert, Christopher Udry

“Self-Selection into Credit Markets: Evidence from Agriculture in Mali;” by Lori Beaman, Dean Karlan, Bram Thuysbaert and Christopher Udry; released as a working paper by Poverty Action Lab; May 2014; 36 pages; available at http://www.povertyactionlab.org/evaluation/self-selection-credit-markets-mali

In Mali, as in many parts of the developing world, agriculture sustains the livelihood of the vast majority of citizens. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Rashtriya Gramin Vikas Nidhi North East (RGVN) Microfinance Raises $7m in Equity Funding from Norwegian Microfinance Initiative Fund III, Oikocredit of the Netherlands, Dia Vikas Capital of India

Rashtriya Gramin Vikas Nidhi North East (RGVN), a microfinance institution (MFI) based in the Indian state of Assam, reportedly has raised approximately INR 420 million (USD 6.98 million) in equity funding from new investors [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Infinity Microfinance Bank, Partnership for Transforming Health Systems 2 (PATHS2) to Expand Micro Health Insurance Coverage in Nigeria

Infinity Microfinance Bank, a Nigerian microbank, and the Partnership for Transforming Health Systems 2 (PATHS2), a program intended to improve Nigeria’s health system that is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), reportedly will collaborate to expand PATHS2’s “Micro Health Insurance Scheme” (MHIS) in the country. Continue reading