MICROCAPITAL STORY: Microfinance in Benin Struggling as Microfinance Institution (MFI) PADME Faces Operational Challenges and Government Intervention

Microfinance in the West African nation of Benin is showing signs of struggling after one of the country’s major microfinance institutions (MFIs), facing internal and external turbulence and the threat of government intervention, has lost the confidence of potential investors, according to non-profit ACCION International.

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MICROCAPITAL STORY: India’s ACCESS Development Services and French NGO ACTED to Build Capacity of South Asian Microfinance Institutions with Funding from the European Commission

ACCESS Development Services (ACCESS) of India and the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED), an independent French non-governmental organization, will be working with 20 microfinance institutions (MFIs) from southern Asia with the goal of increasing economic co-operation between the region and Europe. Partially funded by the European Commission, this 18-month project will provide intensive capacity-building support, including development of business plans, best practice exchanges among regional MFIs and exposure to European banking standards. Other benefits are to include an opportunity to receive investment or loans from European companies and access to loan tracking software. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Top Pakistani Microfinance Institution Khushhali Bank Moving Into Private Sector

Khushhali Bank (KB) has converted to a public limited company as of April 1, according to Pakistan’s English-language newspaper The Nation. KB was established in 2000 with support from the Asian Development Bank as part of the government’s Microfinance Sector Development Program. The Nation reports that KB is now incorporated with the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and is licensed by State Bank of Pakistan to operate under Microfinance Institutions Ordinance 2001, which allows institutions to accept deposits. It is not clear whether SECP incorporation frees KB’s shareholders their pre-existing requirement to gain approval from the State Bank of Pakistan before selling shares. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: SKS Microfinance Looks to Offer Microinsurance Products with Bajaj Allianz Life

Indian microfinance institution (MFI), SKS Microfinance (SKS) announced it will partner with Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company to provide its members with a group insurance product. The product will be distributed by SKS and- according to the CEO of Bajaj Allianz Mr. Kamesh Goyal- will give Bajaj Allianz access to the micro-insurance market. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL EVENT: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) and Women’s World Banking (WWB) to Hold Seminar on Microfinance in Buenos Aires

MICROFINANCE: TOWARDS THE INCLUSION OF ALL

APRIL 22, 2008 HOTEL PANAMERICANO, BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

The Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund and Women’s World Banking (WWB), a global network of microfinance institutions, will hold a seminar on commercial banks’ entry into microfinance titled “Microfinance: Towards the Inclusion of All,” on April 22 at the Hotel Panamericano in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The seminar will be held in collaboration with the Latin American Federation of Banks, a non-profit institution of 600 financial institutions from 19 countries for the economic development and integration of Latin American countries. Continue reading

PAPER WRAP-UP: Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, Focus Note: The Early Experience with Branchless Banking (On the Potential of Branchless Banking in the Microfinance Sector)

This article is based on research conducted on branchless banking projects in 18 countries worldwide during 2007. Written by Gautam Ivantury and Ignacio Mas of the Technology Program at the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), this 16-page document was released in April, 2008 by CGAP and is available here. 

Branchless banking is defined as bank services that use technology such as payment cards or mobile phones to identify customers and record transactions, the use of third-party outlets as agents for financial services providers, offer minimum of basic cash deposit and withdrawal and transaction or payment services, have the backing of a government-recognized deposit-taking institutions, and are available to be used during normal business hours without needing to go to bank branches. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: ING Review of American International Group (AIG) and Its Partnerships with ACCION, FINCA, MicroCred, Pro Mujer, and Pak-Oman Microfinance Bank

The Dutch Bank ING published its updated 2008 study on commercial bank microfinance activity, called “A Billion to Gain? The Next Phase”. A MicroCapital review of the paper can be read here. MicroCapital is reviewing the microfinance activities of several of large international banks covered in the study, such as American International Group (AIG). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will Extend a $30m Syndicated Loan to the Micro Finance Bank of Azerbaijan (MFBA) for On-lending to Micro Enterprises

The Board of Directors of the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), an international bank utilizing investment tools to encourage democracy and market economies from central Asia to central Europe since 1991, will discuss an upcoming syndicated loan to the Micro Finance Bank of Azerbaijan (MFBA) on May 12th. The loan will be worth USD 30 million, as reported by the Azeri-Press Agency (APA). The EBRD will finance USD 10 million of the loan and the remaining USD 20 million will be offered to the syndication market on “B loan” terms. Continue reading