MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Arise – Founded by Norfund, FMO, Rabobank to Invest in African Financial Services Providers – Buys 28% Equity Stake in Ghana’s CAL Bank from DPI

Arise, an investment company recently launched in South Africa by three European institutions, has paid an undisclosed price to acquire 27.7 percent of the shares of CAL Bank, a publicly traded financial institution in Ghana. Arise bought the stake from Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Impact of M-Pesa Mobile Money; Microinsurance in Sri Lanka; Women’s Financial Diaries in India, Kenya, Mexico

“The Long-run Poverty and Gender Impacts of Mobile Money”; by Tavneet Suri and William Jack; published in Science; December 8, 2016, 4 pages; available at http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6317/1288.full/

This article reviews a study that assessed the impact of the M-Pesa mobile payment service in Kenya. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microbank LOLC (Cambodia) Authorized to Offer Leasing Services

LOLC (Cambodia) Plc, a microfinance institution (MFI) that is 60-percent owned by LOLC Micro Investment of Sri Lanka, recently received approval from the National Bank of Cambodia to offer leasing services. It is reportedly the first MFI to gain such permission. Beginning in March, LOLC (Cambodia) expects to offer both businesses and Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC Syndicates $44m in Debt from BIB, Incofin, MicroVest, Symbiotics for KazMicroFinance (KMF) of Kazakhstan

KazMicroFinance (KMF), a microfinance institution operating in Kazakhstan, recently borrowed USD 44 million syndicated by the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) in an effort to enable KMF to expand its lending to small businesses. Of the total, IFC is providing USD 5 million Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Muthoot Raises $20m in Equity from Creation Investments Amidst Plans to Open 500 New Microfinance Branches

Creation Investments Capital Management, a US-based alternative investment company, recently announced that it has placed an equity investment of USD 20 million in Muthoot Microfin Limited, a unit of Indian conglomerate Muthoot Pappachan Group. Muthoot Microfin Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Success Microfinance Bank (Formerly Collarhedge Finance) Acquires Deposit-taking License from Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

Success Microfinance Bank, a financial institution in Zimbabwe formerly known as Collarhedge Finance, recently received a license from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe allowing it to accept deposits. Microfinance banks in the country Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO Investing $15m in Equity in Sanad Fund for MSME for On-lending in the Middle East, North Africa

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch development bank, recently announced that it will place equity of USD 15 million in the debt sub-fund of the Sanad Fund for MSME (Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise), which disburses “medium- and long-term” loans to financial institutions that serve MSMEs Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Young Africa Works Summit; February 16 – 17, 2017; Kigali, Rwanda

Event Name: Young Africa Works Summit

Event Date: February 16 – February 17, 2017

Event Location: Kigali, Rwanda

Summary of Event: This second iteration of this event will convene young agricultural entrepreneurs with leaders of NGOs and government agencies to address how young people Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: AYo Offers Free Mobile Health, Life Insurance to MTN Phone Subscribers in Uganda: “Recharge with Care” & “Send with Care”

AYo, which is a joint venture between two South African firms, insurer MMI Holdings and the MTN (Mobile Telecommunications Network) Group, recently launched its first two products, both in Uganda: (1) Recharge with Care, which provides life and/or hospitalization insurance when an MTN phone subscriber buys airtime; and (2) Send with Care, which Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EFSE Lends $2m to VisionFund’s SEF International for Micro-, Small Enterprises in Armenia

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle, recently announced that it has loaned AMD 970 million (USD 2 million) to Armenia’s SEF International to support the microfinance institution’s (MFI’s) lending to micro- and small businesses. SEF, which offers Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Thos Gieskes to Lead Dutch Cooperative Investor Oikocredit

Oikocredit, a Netherlands-based cooperative with financial inclusion, agriculture and renewable energy investments in 71 countries, announced yesterday that Thos Gieskes is taking the position of Managing Director of the organization as of April. David Woods vacated the position in 2016 after joining Oikocredit in 2012. Mr Gieskes has over a decade of experience at Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: 38th Midi de la Microfinance et de l’Inclusion Financière; March 8, 2017; Luxembourg

Event Name: 38th Midi de la Microfinance et de l’Inclusion Financière

Event Date: March 8, 2017

Event Location: Banque de Luxembourg, 14 Boulevard Royal, Luxembourg

Summary of Event: This 38th “Midi,” which is titled “Entreprenante Afrique: The Age of SMEs” consists of a one-hour discussion on the role that investors can play in the development of small and medium-sized enterprises Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EBRD Lends $10.9m to Compagnie Internationale de Leasing to Support MSMEs in Tunisia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based financial institution, recently announced that it is providing a senior unsecured loan of TND 25 million (USD 10.9 million) to Compagnie Internationale de Leasing (CIL), a Tunisian company that rents and leases industrial equipment and goods. The loan is intended to allow CIL Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vision Microfinance Funds Loan $9m in Ecuador, Honduras

C-Quadrat Asset Management, a unit of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, today informed MicroCapital that its Dual Return Vision Microfinance and Vision Microfinance-Local Currency funds extended credit totaling approximately USD 9 million to Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Learning Forum; May 23-25, 2017; Bangkok, Thailand

Event Name: Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Learning Forum

Event Date: May 23 – 25, 2017

Event Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Summary of Event: This event will offer stakeholders opportunities to discuss achieving “sustainable and scalable development outcomes for very poor and marginalized women.” Speakers will address Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO Provides $6m Local-currency Loan to Sanasa Development Bank of Sri Lanka for SME Lending

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch development bank, recently announced that it has provided a local-currency loan equivalent to USD 6 million to Sanasa Development Bank PLC (SDB bank), which provides leasing, credit, deposit Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: UN Digital Financial Services Toolkits; 7th IMF Financial Access Survey; IFC, The MasterCard Foundation Mobile Money Handbook

“How to Succeed in Your Digital Journey: a Series of Toolkits for Financial Service Providers”; Published by the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s MicroLead Program; October 2016; available upon request via: https://uncdf.wufoo.com/forms/q4pnwh31pqtp7r/

This first portion of a six-part digital toolkit, which is available in English and French, was designed to benefit microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other financial services providers that aim to offer digital financial services to unbanked populations residing in remote locations. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Asian University for Women Expanding on Partnerships with Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, BRAC Afghanistan

Asian University for Women (AUW), which was created in 2008 in Chittagong, Bangladesh, is in the process of bringing on additional partners through which it will recruit bachelor’s degree candidates from low-income regions of Asia and the Middle East. The mission of AUW is to offer talented young women from families with minimal educational and financial resources the opportunity to earn an undergraduate Continue reading