MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to Encourage Banks to Deploy Rural Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), Use Unclaimed Funds for Financial Education

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, reportedly has initiated a program under which banks are requested to install an unspecified number of automatic teller machines (ATMs) in rural areas that will dispense bank notes in relatively small denominations. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) to Revise Microinsurance Product Structure in Effort to Encourage Growth of Industry

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), the government agency charged with overseeing India’s insurance market, reportedly is set to release revised guidelines on the structure and features of microinsurance products in order to allow insurance companies to incentivize third-party institutions to sell the products. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen-Jameel Microfinance Donates $1m to Kiva Partnership “Change is in Your Hands,” Supporting Microlenders in Middle East, North Africa; Offers Additional $1m in Matching Funds

Kiva, a US-based nonprofit crowdfunding organization that raises money for microfinance institutions (MFIs), and Grameen-Jameel Microfinance Limited, a Cyprus-based nonprofit joint venture of the US-based Grameen Foundation and Saudi Arabia-based Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives, have reportedly entered into a partnership to launch the “Change is in Your Hands” campaign, an initiative which uses the website http://www.kiva.org/middleeast to support lending initiatives that will provide financing to entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) of Taiwan Encourages Banks to Reduce Microcredit Transaction Fees

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) of Taiwan, the government agency charged with regulating the island’s insurance and banking sectors, reportedly has encouraged banks to reduce the fees they charge on microcredit loans in Taiwan. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company Purchases 10% Equity Stake in Rocket Internet for $445m with Eye on Mobile Payments

The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), a Philippines-based telecommunications company, reportedly has purchased a 10-percent stake in Rocket Internet, a Germany-based web service provider and e-commerce investment firm, for EUR 333 million (USD 445 million). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) Ghana Partners with Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Ghana to Improve Mobile Money Systems

Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) Ghana, the Ghanaian arm of South Africa-based MTN, reportedly has partnered with several unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Ghana to allow the MFIs’ customers to use the MTN Mobile Money service to make loan payments. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to Loan $100m to El Salvador for On-Lending to Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a US-based multilateral finance institution operating in Latin America and the Caribbean, reportedly has approved a loan of USD 100 million to promote lending to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in El Salvador. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank Group Donating $22m to, Investing $2m in Agriculture Commercialization in Tajikistan

The International Development Association (IDA), the arm of the World Bank Group (WBG) that offers interest-free credits and grants to the world’s 82 poorest countries, is planning to disburse a grant of USD 22 million to support the “Tajikistan Agriculture Commercialization Project”[1] of the government of Tajikistan. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Government Launches 15 “Technology Centres” to Support Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The Ministry of Micro-, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), the Indian government agency in charge of regulating and supporting MSMEs, reportedly has launched its “Technology Centre Systems Programme,” which involves establishing 15 technology centers and improving the three existing such centers across the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: “KazAgro” National Management Holding of Kazakhstan Privatizing 48 Subsidiaries, Mostly Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

Astana-based “KazAgro” National Management Holding Joint Stock Company (“KazAgro”), the state-owned agency responsible for the implementation of national policy on agribusiness development in the Republic of Kazakhstan, reportedly has announced that it plans to sell 45 subsidiaries within the second phase of the ongoing privatization process in the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Janalakshmi Financial Services to Buy $90m in Products, Services From International Business Machines (IBM)

Janalakshmi Financial Services (JFS), a Bangalore-based microfinance institution (MFI) that offers lending and insurance services, and International Business Machines (IBM), a US-based information technology consulting company, have signed a six-year agreement worth INR 5.5 billion (USD 90 million) to provide JFS with IBM products and services in support of the MFI’s proposed growth in India. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: African Development Bank (AfDB) Issues $80m in Local- Currency Bond in Nigeria’s Capital Market

The African Development Bank (AfDB), a multilateral finance institution based in Tunisia and gives loans and grants to governments and private companies in Africa, reportedly has raised NGN 12.95 billion (USD 80 million) by issuing a 7-year local-currency bond in the Nigerian market. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: “European Investment Bank University Research Scholarships” Offer $400k Including for Research on Microfinance, Social Inclusion in Europe

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the Luxembourg-based long-term lending bank of the European Union (EU), recently announced a call for proposals for three new “European Investment Bank University Research Scholarships” (EIBURS). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s ESAF Microfinance and Investment Issues $7.8m In Non-Convertible Debentures (NCDs) to Triodos

Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF) Microfinance and Investment Private Limited (EMFIL), a non-banking financial institution (NBFC) based in the Indian state of Kerala, reportedly has raised INR 475 million (USD 7.8 million) by issuing non-convertible debentures (NCDs) to Triodos Investment Management, a subsidiary of Netherlands-based for-profit Triodos Bank [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Ghana Demands Photos of Owners of Microfinance Institutions to Deter Theft of Deposits

The Bank of Ghana (BoG), the central bank of the country, reportedly has implemented more stringent regulations for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in an effort to address an increase in failed microbanks and stolen customer deposits, which have been attributed to “bad management practices, increasing non-performing loans, fraudulent activities and expansion without a commensurate increase in capacity.” Continue reading