MICROCAPITAL STORY: Calvert Foundation Lends $500,000 to Mongolian Microfinance Institution XacBank

In another deal coming to us courtesy of Microfinance Capital Markets Newsletter of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and the MIX, the microfinance information clearinghouse, Calvert Foundation, a nonprofit community investment vehicle, recently invested USD 500,000 in loans in XacBank, a leading microfinance institution (MFI) in Mongolia. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Oxfam Novib Lends to ACME, FDL in Early 2008

This story comes courtesy of the Consultative Group to the Poor CGAP), as reported in the January 2008 Microfinance Capital Markets Update, Issue No. 23. Oxfam Novib has made deals to lend USD 440,000 to Association Pour la Cooperation avec la Micro Enterprise (ACME) and USD 1.5 million to Fondo de Desarrollo Local(FDL), two microfinance institutions (MFIs) serving the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region. Oxfam Novib is a Dutch philanthropic organization founded in 1956, and is one of twelve members of Oxfam International. As of 2004, Oxfam Novib has dedicated USD 7.8 millionof its total portfolio, USD 28 million, to MFI projects in the LAC region. The fund is managed by Triple Jump Advisory Services. Continue reading

WHO’S WHO IN MICROFINANCE: Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan

Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan, a prominent figure who helped lay the basic foundations of the microcredit movement, is mostly known for his work on the Comilla Model of rural development in the 1960s and the Orangi Pilot Project in the 1980s. The Comilla Model was originally developed at the Bangladesh (formerly Pakistan) Academy of Rural Development, and focused on the integration of public and private resources in creating a central institutional base and developing around it various development programs. The Orangi Pilot Project was initiated as a grassroots development project that emphasized self-help as the primary means of developing the “katchi abadis” (informal sector). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: IDB Makes Donation to Billion Dollar Standard & Poor’s

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will subsidize USD 405,000 of a Standard & Poor’s (S&P) project to develop a globally accepted rating system of microfinance institutions (MFIs). S&P is a rating service and a division of McGraw-Hill Companies. The actual funding will be by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a fund administered by the IDB to encourage private sector development of micro-enterprise in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

The stated goal and rationale of this project is to increase capital flow to micro-banks. However, with MIF’s public money subsidizing a company with over USD 1 billion in annual profits, such justification is thin. Top micro-banks do not suffer from too little investment, but rather there is now far too much money chasing too few micro-banks.  Has the IDB gotten it exactly wrong? Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: ASA International Secures $125m in Largest Microfinance Equity Commitment to Date

Catalyst Microfinance Investors (CMI) of Mauritius announced on Tuesday that it had raised USD 125 million through the largest microfinance equity sale to date. Investors included private individuals as well as a number of institutional investors such as the Dutch pension fund, ABP and the US financial services organization, TIAA-CREF. The majority of the funds will be channeled to ASA International of Bangladesh, who will use the increased capital to expand operations in Africa and Asia. Continue reading

PAPER WRAP-UP: Microfinance Cracking the Capital Markets II

MicroCapital will review the conclusions from last year’s conference in preparation for the upcoming third annual Microfinance Cracking the Capital Markets conference in May, 2008. The conference was summarized in a 16-page publication written by Rekha Reddy and is part of ACCION’s InSight series, available here. The conference was hosted by ACCION International and sponsored by Credit Suisse. ACCION is a private, non-profit microfinance organization founded in 1961 that specializes in global micro-enterprise loans, business training, and other financial services. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Philippine Government Advocates Lowering Interest Rates for Microenterprises

Philippine government has directed microfinance lending agencies to look into the possibility of lowering interest rates to micro and small businesses. The government believes this will make microfinance more attractive and increase activity within the sector. The directive came from Cerge Remonde, the oversight official for the government’s micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) program, but is not an obligation nor did it specify if or when it would require MFIs to do so. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Co-operative Insurance Company (CIC) To Pay Microinsurance Claims Amidst Kenyan Political Violence

Co-operative Insurance Company (CIC), Kenya’s only microinsurance company, will pay claims resulting from the country’s recent political unrest over a disputed presidential election. As of the end of January, CIC had already received claims totaling KES 55 million, equivalent to USD 779,037, an amount that is expected to rise as over 90 percent of CIC’s insured clients have yet to file claims. CIC’s decision to honor claims is a precedent in a country where insurers do not usually offer protection against loss or damage due to political risk. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Engineers for Social Impact (E4SI) Launches New Fellowship Program in India for Engineers in Microfinance, Social Enterprises

Engineers for Social Impact (E4SI), a new fellowship program in India, has begun its recruitment process to match the top five undergraduate candidates from Indian engineering schools with five partner social enterprises that are focusing on development by means of sustainable for-profit entrepreneurship. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Compartamos Windfall One Year Later

Nearly one year since the well-publicized and successful IPO of Banco Compartamos, its stock has not maintained its initial and sizable gains. Compartamos is Mexico’s largest microfinance bank, the first “home-grown” microfinance institution to complete an IPO, and the continued subject of debate within the microfinance industry. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Financiera Independencia of Mexico to Hold Fourth Quarter Conference Call

FINANCIERA INDEPENDENCIA FOURTH QUARTER CONFERENCE CALL

FEBRUARY 21, 2008, INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CALL

Mexican Microfinance Institution (MFI), Financiera Independencia, will hold its fiscal 2007 fourth quarter conference call and release its earnings for the fourth quarter ending December 31, 2007 on February 21, 2008 at 11 AM Eastern Time. Continue reading