MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) Commits $9m to Sanad Fund to Support Micro-, Small and Medium-Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, a Swiss government agency that works in developing countries and is known by the acronym SECO, reportedly has invested EUR 5.5 million (USD 7.4 million) in the Sanad Fund for Micro-, Small and Medium-Enterprise (MSME), a Luxembourg-based entity that funds financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EcoBank to Offer Mastercard in 23 African Countries

MasterCard Incorporated, a US-based payments and technology company with operations in 210 countries and territories, reportedly has signed a deal with EcoBank Transnational Incorporated, a Togo-based bank with operations in 20 African countries, to provide MasterCard payments cards to EcoBank’s customers in 23 countries in Africa. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: responsAbility Loans $20m to Microlender Enda Inter-Arabe of Tunisia

ResponsAbility Investments, a Swiss investor in microfinance and other sectors, recently notified MicroCapital that it has disbursed a loan of EUR 15 million (USD 20.4 million) to Enda Inter-Arabe, a Tunisian financial services provider that is also an arm of Senegal-based non-governmental organization Enda Third-World [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Court Rules Against Co-Founder of SMILE Microfinance, Leaving Control to US-Based Developing World Markets

An Indian court has denied a petition from Dr N Sethuraman, the co-founder of Semam Microfinance Investment Literacy and Empowerment (SMILE Microfinance), leaving control of the Indian microfinance institution (MFI) unchanged in the hands of Developing World Markets (DWM), a US-based investment company that has owned a stake amounting to approximately two thirds of SMILE since 2010. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) to Loan $6.8m to Intesa Leasing Belgrade of Serbia to Support Micro-, Small Enterprises

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV) backed by the European Union, recently has announced a new partnership agreement with Intesa Leasing Belgrade (ILB) of Serbia, the lease financing arm of Banca Intesa Belgrade, a Serbian commercial bank that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Microcredit Interest Rate Determinants; Mobile Phones and Microinsurance; Health Financing Through Gifts and Remittances in Kenya

“Microcredit Interest Rates and Their Determinants 2004-2011;” by Richard Rosenberg, Scott Gaul, William Ford and Olga Tomilova; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); June 2013; 32 pages; available at http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/Forum-Microcredit-Interest-Rates-and-Their-Determinants-June-2013_1.pdf

This study explores the factors affecting the determination of interest rates that microfinance institutions (MFIs) charge their customers by analyzing financial data reported from 2004 to 2011 by MFIs to the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), a US-based nonprofit data provider. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Loans $4m to Grooming Centre in Effort to to Reach 780k Nigerian Microenterprises

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently announced that it has committed to loan NGN 650 million (USD 4 million) to Grooming Centre, a Nigerian microfinance institution (MFI), to assist in expanding its reach to a total of 780,000 existing small businesses by 2018, including by expanding its coverage in rural areas of the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) Loans $4m to Komercijalna Banka Banja Luka of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV), has disbursed a senior loan of EUR 3 million (USD 4.1 million) to Komercijalna Banka Banja Luka, a financial institution that is owned by Serbia-based commercial bank Komercijalna Banka Beograd. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Owner of Mibanco, Grupo Accion Comunitaria del Peru (ACP) Breaches Debt Covenant; Entire Peruvian Microfinance Sector Under Strain?

Grupo Accion Comunitaria del Peru (ACP), a Peruvian nonprofit holding company that is the majority shareholder of Peruvian microfinance institution (MFI) Mibanco, recently breached a covenant on a 10-year USD 85 million corporate bond due in 2021, resulting in a downgrade of its credit rating by Fitch, a US-based rating agency. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroCred Holding Raises $11m in Equity from Danish Microfinance Partners

MicroCred Holding, a French microfinance investment company that was created by French NGO PlaNet Finance, has raised EUR 8.4 million (USD 11.4 million) in equity funding through an issue of new shares to Danish Microfinance Partners (DMP), a Danish investment fund that invests in micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sanad Fund for MSME Loans $500k to Reef Finance in Palestinian Territories for On-Lending to Rural Clients

The Sanad Fund for Micro-, Small and Medium-Enterprise (MSME), a Luxembourg-based investment company that funds financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, has agreed to issue a senior loan facility worth USD 500,000 to Reef Finance, a nonprofit microfinance institution (MFI) that operates in the Palestinian Territories of West Bank and Gaza. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Switzerland-based responsAbility Participations Completes Capital Increase of $26m to Increase Investments in Developing-Country Banks

ResponsAbility Participations AG, a Swiss investment company, reportedly has completed a capital increase of CHF 23.5 million (USD 26.4 million), bringing the company’s total equity capital to CHF 42.4 million (USD 47.6 million). Continue reading