MICROCAPITAL STORY: ‘Microfinance most Cost-effective, Efficient way of Reducing Poverty’, interview of Sam Daley-Harris, Microcredit Summit Campaign Founder

Sam Daley-Harris, Microcredit Summit Campaign founder is interviewed by the Economic Times of India about how useful microcredit is and his reaction to its criticisms. The full interview can be found here.

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Mexican Microfinance Institution Banco Compartamos Reports First Quarter Results

Banco Compartamos SA, a Mexican microfinance bank reported first quarter Net Interest Income after provisions rose 27.3 percent over the previous year to 913 million pesos (USD 69.6 million), and Net Income increased 14.7 percent from a year earlier to 288 million pesos (USD 21.9 million).  The increase was due primarily to an increase in interest income of 36.9 percent resulting from a 42.4 percent growth in the bank’s loan portfolio to 6.3 billion pesos (USD 480 million) due to a larger client base. Total active clients rose to 1,200,124 or an increase of 40.1 percent over first quarter 2008.  Offsetting these improvements was a 115.2 percent increase in interest expense due to the increase in leverage to finance this growth and secure funds in the volatile financial environment. 

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) to Host Five Day Course in Amman, Jordan for Microfinance Funders

CGAP Funder Training

Developing Inclusive Financial Systems for the Poor: How Funders Can Make a Difference

Amman, Jordan (Dead Sea), June 14-18, 2009

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Grameen Foundation and Women’s World Banking Express Concern Over the Potential Crisis in Punjab, Pakistan’s Microfinance Sector

According to the Business Recorder (a Pakistani Daily Newspaper), the Grameen Foundation (GF) and Women’s World Banking (WWB), recently urged Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif to take swift action to support the microfinance sector and help curtail inappropriate interventions by local politicians. While detail regarding the exact cause and nature of the elected representatives’ involvement is currently unspecified, President Alex Counts of GF in Washington DC and Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of WWB in New York City, expressed concern. The letter states that heads of the two U.S. non-profit support organizations for microfinance are “concerned that the microfinance sector in Pakistan is under threat. The intervention of some local elected representatives has given rise to a crisis, a situation, which has damaged the reputation of the microfinance sector in Pakistan and could lead to a major crisis with national as well as international implications.”

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Social Enterprise Development Partnerships, Inc. (SEDPI) to Offer Financial Management Training for Microfinance Institutions

Financial Management Training for Microfinance Institutions, November 12-14, 2009, at Davao City, Philippines, presented by the Social Enterprise Development Partnerships, Inc. (SEDPI) and sponsored by the Social Enterprise Development Partnerships, Inc. (SEDPI) and Ateneo de Manila University.

November 12-14, 2009, at Davao City, Philippines.

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Tanzania’s National Microfinance Bank (NMB) to add new branches and ATMs in 2009

The National Microfinance Bank (NMB) of Tanzania is set to expand its number of branches in 2009. It announced a plan to add between 10 and 15 new branches and nearly double its number of ATM machines. Currently it owns 172 ATMs and has 128 branches. NMB is Tanzania’s largest bank in terms of number of branches and customer deposits. This is expected to cost nearly 10 billion Tanzanian Shillings (TZS) or USD 7.5 million.

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Kenya’s K-Rep Bank Brings in New Manager as a Response to $4.4m Loss in 2008

K-Rep Bank, a Kenyan commercial bank that targets the microfinance sector, appointed Gerard Monteiro as the new Chief Operations Advisor after reporting a Sh 349 million (USD 4.4 million) loss for 2008. It is hoped that Mr. Monteiro, a 33-year veteran of the banking and microfinance sectors, will help to reverse the five-year low-profitability trend K-Rep Bank has faced.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Discussion on Global Assets Project policy brief, “Savings-Linked Conditional Cash Transfers: A New Approach to Global Poverty Reduction,” by Jamie Zimmerman and Yves Moury

Gateways to Global Poverty Reduction and Financial Inclusion: Linking Savings and Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs)

April 29, 2009, 9:30am-11:00am EST, New American Foundation Head Office, 1899 L Street NW, Washington DC, 4th Floor

PAPER WRAP-UP: A Closer Look at Consolidation: The Sonata-Jeevika Acquisition, by Akhand Tiwari and Michael Chasnow

Akhand Tiwari and Michael Chasnow, IFMR Centre for Microfinance’s co-authors, provide an in-depth look at an acquisition in Indian microfinance: Sonata Finance’s purchase of Jeevika Livelihood Support Organization’s microfinance operation in August 2007. The Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) Centre for Microfinance was established in 2005 with the objective to improve the accessibility and quality of financial services for the poor through research, knowledge dissemination and evidence-based policy for MFIs. This paper explores the acquisition and insights it may have for other microfinance practitioners.

MICROCAPITAL STORY: US President Barack Obama Announces $100m Microfinance Growth Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean at Fifth Summit of the Americas

US President Barack Obama opened the fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago with a speech outlining his administration’s policy toward the Western Hemisphere. As part of his response to the global economic crisis, the President announced a newly-formed Microfinance Growth Fund to jump start lending to small businesses in the region.

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Unitus, Inc. and Yehu Microfinance Trust of Kenya form New Partnership

Unitus, Inc., an international non-profit organization, and Yehu Microfinance Trust of Kenya announced that they have formed a new partnership. Yehu currently serves people in rural coastal Kenya and Unitus already works with two other MFIs in East Africa.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: International Insurance Society (IIS) to Host Annual Seminar: Patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan Brings Microfinance Focus

International Insurance Society’s 45th Annual Seminar: Maintaining Sustainability in a Changing World

June 7-10, 2009, Amman, Jordan

MICROFINANCE EVENT: USAID’s Microfinance News-Source, microLINKS, will Host Online Discussion on Value Chains for Vulnerable Populations

Speaker’s Corner 32: Value Chains for Vulnerable Populations

April 28 – 30, 2009, participate online: http://www.microlinks.org/ev.php?ID=37239_201&ID2=DO_COMMUNITY

MICROCAPITAL STORY: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Invests USD 4 million into Kyrgyz Microfinance Institution Bai Tushum

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, announced that it is investing USD 4 million into Kyrgyz microfinance institution Bai Tushum.  The investment will help the company provide loans to about 10,000 microenterprises, private entrepreneurs, and farmers in remote areas of Kyrgyzstan.  The Kyrgyz Republic joined the IFC in 1993 and the IFC has since committed almost USD 75 million to the country, including USD 5 million in advisory services focused on microfinance, housing finance, corporate governance, and business environment.