MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC, Goldman Sachs Deliver Business Training, $80m in Loan Funds Via Alibaba’s Ant Credit to Support Women Entrepreneurs in China

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, will provide a senior loan of RMB 500 million (USD 80 million) to Ant Credit, the business-lending division of Ant Financial Services Group, which is an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba [1]. The funds will be used to provide credit lines to Chinese women who have online business. Ant Credit will on-lend these funds via the internet after assessing potential borrower’s “transactional and behavioral data” from their online business. The funds will be provided through the Goldman Sachs “10,000 Women” Program, which was launched in 2008 to teach business skills and facilitate access to capital for 10,000 women living in low- and moderate-income countries [2]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sanad Fund for MSME Expands into Yemen with $3m Loan to Al-Amal Microfinance Bank

The Sanad Fund for MSME (micro-, small and medium-sized enterprise), a Germany-based fund providing medium- and long-term debt and equity financing in the Middle East and North Africa, recently disbursed a senior loan of USD 3 million to Al-Amal Microfinance Bank (AMB), a nonprofit minority-held by the government of Yemen, to support micro- and small enterprises (MSE) in the country. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Responsible Digital Finance; March 16, 2015; Frankfurt, Germany

Event Name: Responsible Digital Finance: Global and Local Perspectives on Emerging Opportunities and Risks

Event Date: March 16, 2015

Event Location: Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Frankfurt, Germany

Cost: There is no fee to attend the event, although participants must register in advance.

Summary of Event: Attendees will discuss the opportunities and challenges of implementing digital finance services in developing countries, such as the need for transparent and safe digital products tailor-made for low-income segments of the population living in remote areas. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Satin of India Borrows $10m over 8 years from WorldBusiness Capital, Facilitated by IFMR Capital

Satin Creditcare Network Limited, a microfinance institution based in Delhi, India, recently borrowed INR 628 crore (USD 10 million) from WorldBusiness Capital (WBC), a US-based lender to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: TBC Bank to Acquire ProCredit Bank Georgia’s Microcredit Portfolio

TBC Bank, a commercial bank that was founded in 1992 in Georgia as the Tblisi Business Centre, reportedly will acquire the microcredit portfolio of ProCredit Bank Georgia (PCBG), a financial institution that is majority-owned by Germany-based ProCredit Holding. As of January 2015, PCBG’s gross microloan portfolio amounted to GEL 39.3 million (USD 19.2 million). These loans, defined as those smaller than EUR 10,000 (USD 11,300), represent 5 percent of PCBG’s total loan portfolio. The purpose of the move is to allow PCBG to concentrate on the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Orange, Ecobank Partner to Launch Mobile Money Service in Mali with Plans to Expand Across Africa

Orange, a French provider of telephone and Internet service in 30 countries, and EcoBank Transnational Incorporated (EcoBank), a Togo-based bank operating in 28 countries, recently launched a mobile banking service that will enable Orange Money subscribers to transfer money between Ecobank accounts. As of February 5, both companies signed a partnership agreement to launch the service in Mali, and they plan to expand to Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea Conakry, Niger, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the future. Customers also will be able to check their account balances, receive “mini-statements” via short message service (SMS, also known as text messaging) and top-up their Orange Money e-wallets [1].  Continue reading

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SPECIAL FEATURE: Are Microfinance Institutions and Investors Removed from Business Reality?

This opinion piece was contributed by David MacDougall, a consultant based in the US city of New York.

Microfinance inspires optimism. Investors – especially private equity investors – anticipate handsome returns; aid agencies see strong social impact; and microfinance institution (MFI) managers are certain they can grow themselves out of every tight situation. While microfinance can play an important role in development, most MFIs nevertheless are relatively simple financial institutions that need to be grounded in sound market and business principles rather than pie-in-the-sky expectations. These “Business 101” principles, which may sound like common sense truisms, in my experience, have not trickled down to many MFIs. In over 10 years of examining the viability of MFI business models as an analyst and risk manager, I have seen decision makers fail again and again to do reality checks. What’s still urgently needed is sound market analysis and professional risk management. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Decree in Belarus Requires Microfinance Organizations to Register with National Bank Within 6 Months

The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB), the central banking authority of the country, has announced that organizations providing microfinance services in the country have six months to register with the bank to comply with the guidelines set forth in “Decree No. 325,” a presidential order “on the raising and provision of loans, the operation of microfinance organizations” [1]. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: 2015 Mifos Summit, March 10-13, 2015, Grand Excelsior Hotel, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Event Name: 2015 Mifos Summit

Event Date: March 10 – March 13, 2015

Event Location: Grand Excelsior Hotel Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to Invest $17m in Equity in European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) to Support MSME Financing in Ukraine

The German government’s Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ) has agreed to invest equity in the amount of EUR 15 million (USD 17 million) in the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV). This new investment, which is in the highest risk “first-loss” tranche of EFSE, raises BMZ’s total commitment to the fund to approximately EUR 175 million (USD 200 million). The infusion will be used to provide local-currency financing to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Ukraine. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Winter Meeting; February 10, 2015; New York City, USA

Event Name: Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Winter Meeting

Event Date: February 10, 2015

Event Location: Grand Hyatt New York at Grand Central Terminal, New York, New York, USA

Cost: There is no fee to attend the event, although participants may attend by invitation only.

Summary of Event: The attendees will discuss current world development challenges, such as how to sustainably connect small-farmers with markets, the implementation of long-term investment strategies to build resilient health services, how to decrease skills gaps in the marketplace and methods for protecting and managing water resources. Members will be encouraged to create collective action plans around specific development challenges.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Loans $29m to Government of Uganda in Effort to Bring Financial Inclusion, Improved Nutrition to 576k Rural Households

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), an agency of the United Nations that aims to alleviate poverty in rural areas, recently extended a loan of USD 29 million to the government of Uganda to support the Project for Financial Inclusion in Rural Areas (PROFIRA). Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Loans $29m to Government of Uganda in Effort to Bring Financial Inclusion, Improved Nutrition to 576k Rural Households Posted in Africa

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Dutch Pension Fund PGB to Invest $22.6m in Actiam Institutional Microfinance Fund III

Persoonsgebonden Budget (PGB), the pension fund for the Dutch printing industry and formerly SNS Asset Management, will invest EUR 20 million (USD 22.6 million) to Actiam Institutional Microfinance Fund III, which is managed by Actiam Impact Investing. An arm of asset manager Actiam, Actiam Impact Investing provides debt and subdebt funding to microfinance institutions (MFIs) [1] [2].  Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vikram Akula Buys 26% Stake in India’s Vaya Finserv

Vikram Akula, the founder and former chairman of Indian group-lender SKS Microfinance, recently bought 26-percent stake in the start-up Vaya Finserv. Launched in 2014, Vaya Finserv has plans to acquire a “small finance bank” license, which will it will use to provide credit to individuals in India who have been rejected by traditional banks, primarily women’s self-help groups. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nigeria’s Bank of Industry (BOI) Earmarks $105m for Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Country

The Bank of Industry (BOI), which was established by the Nigerian government to promote domestic sectors such as agriculture and finance in Nigeria, recently earmarked NGN 19.8 billion (USD 105 million) to support micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nigeria’s Bank of Industry (BOI) Earmarks $105m for Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Country Posted in Africa

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: e-MFP Survey of Investors in Tier 2/3 Microfinance Institutions; The Business of Doing Good; Benchmarking Inclusive Growth and Development

“Annual Survey 2014, e-MFP Action Group of Investors in Tier 2/3 MFIs;” prepared by Gabriela Erice, Daniel Rozas and e-MFP in collaboration with the e-MFP Action Group of Investors in Tier-2/3 Microfinance Institutions; published by the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP); 2015; 22 pages, available at http://www.e-mfp.eu/sites/default/files/resources/2015/01/Annual%20Survey%202014%20-%20final.pdf

The “Investors in Tier 2/3 MFIs Action Group” of the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), a Luxembourg-based network of approximately 130 microfinance organizations and individuals, has released the results of its third annual survey detailing the analysis of investments of the action group members for the year 2013 [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Loans $45.3m to Union bancaire pour le commerce et l’industrie (UBCI) of Tunisia for On-lending to Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in London, has announced that it will loan EUR 40 million (USD 45.3 million) to Union bancaire pour le commerce et l’industrie (UBCI), the Tunisian commercial banking subsidiary of BNP Paribas, a French financial group. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: DEG, EBRD Loan $10m – Part in Local Currency – to Bai Tushum of Kyrgyz Republic for On-lending to Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)

The Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft GmbH (DEG), a German development finance institution offering long-term project and company financing, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in London, have announced that the two institutions will collectively loan the equivalent of USD 10 million to Bai Tushum Bank (BTB), a provider of microfinance services in the Kyrgyz Republic. Continue reading