MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Perhimpunan Baitul Maal wat Tamwil Indonesia Implements Islamic Financial Empowerment Program Including Grants, Subsidized Loans, Market-Rate Credit

Perhimpunan Baitul Maal wat Tamwil (BMT) Indonesia, a financial cooperative coordinating 150 of Indonesia’s microfinance institutions that employ the BMT model of Islamic finance, has implemented a three-stage financial empowerment program that aims to benefit low-income individuals in the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Loans $13m to Krygyzstan’s Optima Bank for On-lending to Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral investment institution headquarted in London, England, recently announced that it will loan the local-currency equivalent of USD 13 million to Optima Bank, a commercial bank headquartered in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC to Advise Government of Myanmar on Regulation; Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs); Financial Inclusion; Microfinance

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that aims to increase economic growth in developing countries, recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Commerce of Myanmar. Continue reading

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

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), MasterCard Partner to Build Inclusive Payment Systems in Low-Income Economies Posted in Africa, Deals

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

Written by Comments Off on SPECIAL REPORT: On “Microfinance in Crisis,” an Interview with Edvardas Bumsteinas of the European Investment Bank, Host of the European Microfinance Award Ceremony Posted in European Microfinance Week, Risks

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

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Grants National Microfinance Banking License to Fortis Microfinance Bank (Fortis MFB) Posted in Africa, Regulation

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

Written by Comments Off on MICROFINANCE EVENT: Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit: October 6 – 8, 2015, Arlington, Virginia, USA Posted in Events, Youth

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

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Jordan’s Queen Noor, King Hussein Foundation Launch Sharia-Compliant Microfinance Institution Ethmar Posted in Middle East

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