MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Advans Pakistan Microfinance Bank, MicroEnsure, EFU Life to Cover Loan Payments in Case of Sickness, Disability, Death, Death of Spouse

Advans Pakistan Microfinance Bank, a member of the Advans SA group that offers financial services to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Pakistan, has joined with MicroEnsure Pakistan, a subsidiary of the UK-based MicroEnsure insurance agency, and Eastern Federal Union Life, a private-sector life insurance company in Pakistan, to introduce “Enhanced Credit Cover” for its borrowers. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation, Microfinance Center of Poland Hire Cultural Consultant in Financial Literacy in Azerbaijan

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the US-based World Bank Group, recently announced a partnership with the Microfinance Center (MFC) for Central and Eastern Europe and the New Independent States, a 110-member network based in Poland, to attempt to improve financial literacy in Azerbaijan. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sweden, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Facilitate Energy-Efficiency Advice for 100 Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Moldova

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral financial institution, is helping 100 Moldovan small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) receive advice on energy efficiency practices from local consultants in a program funded by the government of Sweden. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Global Systems for Mobile Association Assists 9 Cellular Network Providers in Africa, Middle East With Mobile Money Interoperability

Global Systems for Mobile Association, a UK-based association of mobile operators and associated companies, reportedly is helping coordinate the deployment of mobile money services for nine mobile network providers operating in Africa and the Middle East. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions (ZAMFI) Warns Against Illegal Deposit-taking by Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

The executive director of the Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions (ZAMFI), Mr Godfrey Chitambo, reportedly cautioned the Zimbabwean public recently against microfinance institutions (MFIs) that are taking deposits illegally. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Gulf African Bank of Kenya to Receive Advisory Services Under International Finance Corporation’s Africa Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Finance Program

The International Finance Corporation, the private-investment arm of the US-based World Bank Group, has announced that the Gulf African Bank (GAB), which offers Shariah-compliant products and services in Kenya, has become a member of its Africa Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Finance Program. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IsePankur’s Online Loan Site Bondora Receives Peer-to-Peer Lending License From UK’s Financial Conduct Authority

Bondora, a website owned by Estonia’s isePankur that allows individuals and enterprises to borrow from and lend to each other, recently announced that it obtained a peer-to-peer lending license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a regulatory agency in the UK. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Russian Payday Lender Bistrodengi Selects Diasoft’s Flextera Banking Software

Bistrodengi, a Russian payday lender that offers payday loans of RUB 1,000 to RUB 16,000 (USD 28 to USD 453) for periods of seven to 16 days, recently selected Flextera Loans, a core banking solution from Diasoft, to support its lending and accounting operations. Diasoft’s software is used by approximately 340 financial institutions worldwide. The company is headquartered in Russia, and it also has offices in China, Cyprus, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Lok Capital Sextuples Investment With Partial Exit from Indian “Socio-commercial” Outsourcing Firm RuralShores

Lok Capital (Lok), a Mauritius-based venture fund focused on the microfinance and social business sectors in India, reportedly has sold part of its equity stake in RuralShores Business Services, an India-based company offering business process outsourcing to public and private clients in the microfinance, banking, insurance, telecom and information technology sectors. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) Allocates $5.3m to Test, Develop Social Impact Bond Market in Latin America, Caribbean

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the US-based Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, recently announced that it has allocated USD 5.3 million for the testing, development and implementation of social impact bond (SIB) programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: African Development Bank (AfDB) Announces $9m Line of Credit for Moza Banco of Mozambique for SMEs

The African Development Bank (AfDB), a multilateral institution that provides loans and grants to governments and private companies in Africa, recently announced that it will issue a local-currency credit line equivalent to USD 9 million to Moza Banco, a private financial institution that focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Mozambique. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Financial Capability in Colombia: Results from a National Survey on Financial Behaviors, Attitudes, and Knowledge;” by Rekha Reddy, Miriam Bruhn and Congyan Tan; Published by The World Bank

“Financial Capability in Colombia: Results from a National Survey on Financial Behaviors, Attitudes, and Knowledge;” by Rekha Reddy, Miriam Bruhn and Congyan Tan; published by The World Bank; 2013; 87 pages; available at http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2013/07/18054984/financial-capability-colombia-results-national-survey-financial-behaviors-attitudes-knowledge

This report, which was published by The World Bank, a US-based multilateral institution, analyzes a survey carried out in Colombia regarding “financial capabilities,” including behaviors, attitudes and knowledge regarding financial products. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Considers $277m Investment for Financial Institutions in Western Balkans

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral financial institution, is considering investing an additional EUR 200 million (USD 277 million) through its Western Balkans Financing Framework, an initiative that funds development projects through intermediary financial institutions in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Dynamic Effects of Microcredit in Bangladesh,” Published by the Development Research Group of the World Bank

“Dynamic Effects of Microcredit in Bangladesh,” by Shahidur R. Khandker and Hussain A. Samad, published by The World Bank, March 2014, 50 pages, available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2417519

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Bangladesh have experienced rapid growth over the past two decades and in 2008 disbursed approximately USD 1.8 billion to approximately 30 million clients. Continue reading