MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation Lends $840k to Mali’s Réseau de Micro-institutions de Croissance de Revenus (RMCR), Part for Microinsurance

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to microfinance institutions and social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has committed to extending two loans denominated in CFA francs to Réseau de Micro-institutions de Croissance de Revenus (RMCR), a savings and credit union in Mali.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: PFIP Giving $450k to Solomon Islands’ Government to Digitize Tax Payments

The Pacific Financial Inclusion Program, a Fiji-based initiative of the UN that works to extend financial services to unbanked Pacific Islanders, recently granted USD 450,000 to the Solomon Islands’ Inland Revenue Division (IRD) with the goal of increasing the availability of electronic payment channels for taxes paid by “123,800 wage and salary employees, 200 corporate taxpayers and 3,684 small businesses.”

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Financial Inclusion Summit East Africa; September 5, 2017; Nairobi, Kenya

Event Name: Financial Inclusion Summit East Africa 2017

Event Date: September 5, 2017

Event Location: Radisson Blu Hotel; Nairobi, Kenya

Cost: The fee to attend is USD 440.

Summary of Event: This conference offers opportunities “to discuss critical challenges, opportunities, pilot programmes and future roadmaps” associated with financial inclusion across East Africa. The event will feature approximately a dozen sessions on topics such as: the financial inclusion gender gap; how to overcome barriers to financial inclusion; financial regulation; financial technology; and the dynamics between financial inclusion and the wider financial services industry.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroFinanza Rating Issues 13 Institutional, Social, Client-protection Credentials to Microfinance Institutions in Albania, Morocco, Namibia, Asia, Latin America

During July and August, Italy’s MicroFinanza Rating (MFR) issued five microfinance institutional ratings. Morocco’s Attadamoune Micro-Finance was assigned the grade B+ with a stable outlook. Ecuador’s Fundación Espoir and Albania’s FED Invest both earned grades of BB with stable outlooks. Two institutions earned grades of

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Offshore Financial Centers for Impact Investing; Financial Inclusion in 2025; Microfinance in India

“Offshore Financial Centers for Financial Inclusion: A Marriage of Convenience;” by Sam Mendelson and Daniel Rozas; published by the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) at Accion; June 2017; 14 pages; available at:
http://www.centerforfinancialinclusion.org/publications-a-resources/browse-publications/865-offshore-financial-centers-for-financial-inclusion

This paper explores the use of offshore financial centers (OFCs) based on interviews with 13 equity impact investors.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Telenor Pakistan, Telenor Microfinance Bank, Punjabi Government Creating Connected Agriculture Platform Punjab (CAPP)

Two entities in Pakistan that are controlled by Norwegian conglomerate Telenor recently partnered with two entities of the government of the Pakistani province of Punjab to create the “Connected Agriculture Platform Punjab” (CAPP).

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CGAP, Pula Announce Microinsurance Partnership for Farmers in Nigeria

CGAP (the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based, nonprofit research center that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access, and Pula, a Kenya-based, agricultural insurance intermediary that serves small-scale farmers by leveraging satellite technology, recently announced that they are partnering to deliver “satellite-based agricultural insurance” to farmers in Nigeria.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India Releases “Compendium of Guidelines on Financial Inclusion and Development” in Support of Small Finance Banks’ Launch

The Reserve Bank of India, India’s central banking authority, recently released its “Compendium of Guidelines on Financial Inclusion and Development” for small finance banks, a new classification of institutions intended to increase the “supply of credit to micro- and small enterprises (MSEs), [as well as] agriculture and banking services in unbanked and under-banked regions in the country.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sanad Fund for MSME Lends $20m to Lebanon’s Byblos Bank

The Sanad Fund for MSME (Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise), a provider of loans and equity to financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, recently announced it will loan USD 20 million to Byblos Bank, a commercial bank based in Lebanon, to on-lend to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank Eskhata Borrows $1m as Tajikistan Becomes 17th Country to Host EBRD’s “Women in Business” Programme

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral development institution, recently announced it is expanding its “Women in Business” programme to Tajikistan with an investment of USD 10 million.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EBRD Lends $2m to Imon International of Tajikistan for Female-Run MSMEs

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based organization that invests in support of market-oriented economic policies, recently lent the local-currency equivalent of USD 2 million to Imon International, an institution that offers microcredit and deposit services with the aim of improving its clients’ standards of living as well as promoting economic development in Tajikistan.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Turkey’s QNB Finansbank Borrows $55m via EBRD’s “Women in Business” Programme, Partially Guaranteed by EBRD, EU, Turkish Government

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral development institution, recently announced it is extending its partnership with QNB Finansbank, a commercial bank in Turkey, with a five-year loan of USD 55 million under EBRD’s “Women in Business” programme.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: ZAMFI Blames Zimbabwe’s Liquidity Challenges for Microfinance Portfolio-at-risk (PAR) Ratio Surpassing 12%

The Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions (ZAMFI), a 100-member advocacy group, recently announced its members’ aggregate portfolio-at-risk (PAR) ratio rose from 8.3 percent in December 2016 to 12 percent in March 2017, citing both “corporates and individuals fail[ing] to honour their debt obligations due to the liquidity crisis.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: KMF and Bereke of Kazakhstan, Vasham of Indonesia Borrow $5.1m from Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services primarily to microfinance institutions, recently informed MicroCapital that it has committed to extending the following local-currency loans in phases over three years: the equivalent of USD 3.9 million to KazMicroFinance LLC (KMF) of Kazakhstan, the equivalent of USD 550,000 to Bereke of Kazakhstan, and the equivalent of USD 660,000 to Vasham of Indonesia.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Munich Re Foundation, Microinsurance Network, APESEG to Host 13th International Microinsurance Conference, November 7-9, 2017, Lima, Peru

Event Name: 13th International Microinsurance Conference: Inclusive Insurance for the Mass Market

Event Date: November 7 – November 9, 2017

Event Location: Swissotel; Lima, Peru

Cost: The maximum fee to attend the conference is USD 1,390, with a range of discounts available, including tiered reductions for those registering by September 1 and October 31. There is no fee for representatives of regulatory and supervisory authorities.

Summary of Event: This conference aims to engage stakeholders on “accelerating growth and economic viability in microinsurance.” It will feature roughly 80 speakers covering topics including: microinsurance across Latin America and the Caribbean; the role of microinsurance in economic development; digital technologies for microinsurance; and the relationships among data, analytics and the future of microinsurance.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UBS Wealth Management Customers Investing $325m in The Rise Fund, Social Impact Private Equity Vehicle Managed by TPG

Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) Wealth Management, a unit of Zurich-based UBS, recently announced that it has raised USD 325 million from its high-net-worth clientele to invest in The Rise Fund, a social impact private equity fund managed by the US-based Texas Pacific Group (TPG).

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Benin’s Government Hikes Microcredit Program Budget to $5m

The government of Benin recently increased the budget of its “Microcredit for Very Poor People” program to XOF 3 billion (USD 5.2 million) from XOF 1.2 billion (USD 2.2 million). The program serves people “ineligible for classical bank financing”