MICROCAPITAL STORY: The Inter-American Bank (IDB) Announces USD 1 billion Loan to the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) for the Expansion of Microfinance

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a USD 1 billion loan to the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), the country’s federal public bank for development. The 20 year loan will go towards financing long-term credit to microenterprises and small and medium-size businesses . It is the third loan of the same size by the IDB made from a USD 3 billion conditional credit line launched in 2004 for BNDES. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: FMO Invests $10 Million in Sri Lankan LOLC Micro Finance Company

Sri Lankan company Lanka ORIX Leasing Company PLC (LOLC) will launch LOLC Micro Finance Company (LOLC MF) with a USD 10 million loan and equity injection from the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO). FMO is investing USD 2 million in equity, USD 1.5 million as a convertible loan and USD 6.5 million as a senior loan. FMO will own 20 percent of LOLC MF. This will be the first Sri Lankan microfinance institution (MFI) to have foreign shareholding. LOLC MF already has a Rs 2.3 billion (USD 21.2 million) loan portfolio which has a non-performing loan ratio on a portfolio-of-risk basis of around 5 percent. Continue reading



The Mobile Payments Project of the Infocommunication Union has organized Mobile Commerce 2008, an international conference meant to draw the government’s and businesses’ attention to problems and opportunities relating to the development of the domestic mobile commerce market and the distribution of remote banking services in Russia. The event will take place from December 3 to December 4, 2008 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Moscow and has been endorsed by Russia’s Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications. The Central Bank of the Russian Federation will also participate in the conference. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Gates Foundation Grants 1.7 Million to PlaNet Finance And France Telecom’s Orange for Mobile Banking Microfinance Project

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has granted US$1.7 million to PlaNet Finance to fund a mobile banking project aimed at providing microfinance clients with enhanced access to banking services. The project was co-developed with mobile operator Orange and is attempting to facilitate cost-effective access to microfinance services and products for microentrepreneurs living in remote areas who cannot afford the time or the money to travel to the nearest bank or microfinance institution. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) approves USD 350 million in financing for Latin American sectors, including Microfinance

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a United States federal agency, has announced a USD 350 million financing plan towards private equity investments in Latin America. The plan was approved by OPIC’s Board of Directors to finance three approved new funds in order to provide capital across several economic sectors, including microfinance. The private equity funds are the Greylock Latin America Opportunity Fund, the Latin Power and Infrastructure IV Fund, and the Altra Private Equity IV Fund (APEF). The investment will allow these funds to achieve a combined capitalization of USD 1.45 billion. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Cambodian Microfinance and AMK to Receive Support from IFC

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has pledged to increase support for microfinance in Cambodia by an unspecified amount. In a press release by the IFC, it was reported that the IFC has pledged to double its global support for microfinance to USD 1.2 billion over the next three years, and while it specifically pledged increased support to Cambodian microfinance, this amount was not reported. The IFC has reported on its website that it expects to raise its annual investments in the country to more than USD 50 million by 2010, however it is not specified how much of this would be dedicated to supporting microfinance. These annual investments would be an increase from its current average of USD 20 million. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL PAPER WRAP-UP: Islamic Microfinance: An Emerging Market Niche, by Nimrah Karim, Michael Tarazi and Xavier Reille

Written by Nimrah Karim, Michael Tarazi and Xavier Reille and based primarily on secondary research by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), released in August 2008 as Number 49 of Focus Note, a publication of CGAP, 16 pages, available on October 27, 2008 at: http://www2.cgap.org/gm/document-1.9.5029/FocusNote_49.pdf. Continue reading