MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kenya’s Metropol Acquires License to Operate Credit Bureau in Uganda

The Bank of Uganda, the central banking authority of the country, recently granted a license to Metropol Corporation Limited (MCL), a Kenya-based credit rating and debt management company, to provide credit reference services. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kenya’s Metropol Acquires License to Operate Credit Bureau in Uganda Posted in Africa, Regulation

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EFSE Lends $7.8m to Microfinance Institutions Mikrofin of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Opportunity Bank Serbia

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle focusing on Southeast Europe and Central Asia, recently invested in two microfinance institutions (MFIs) in an effort to support micro- and small enterprises: Mikrofin, an MFI in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a network of 64 offices; and Opportunity Bank Serbia (OBS), a member of US-based Opportunity International, which is active in 22 countries. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Voyager Innovation, Cash Credit to Offer Mobile Consumer Microloans in the Philippines via Smart Communication

Voyager Innovation, a tech company wholly owned by the Philippine wireless service provider Smart Communications, is partnering with the Bulgaria-based finance company Cash Credit to provide mobile-based consumer loans to approximately 75 million Smart Communication subscribers [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Capital India Raises Undisclosed Sum to Loan to Social Enterprises

Grameen Capital India, a Mumbai-based social business, recently raised fresh investment funds to provide debt finance for social enterprises in India from new investors including Ratan Tata, the former chairman of the India-based conglomerate Tata Group; Shrinivas Dempo, the chairman of Indian mining company Dempo Group; and Indian investment banker Vikram Gandhi. This is in addition to additional funds sourced from existing investors, the US-based nonprofit organization Grameen Foundation and two individual Indian investors, Amit Patni and Arihant Patni [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bamboo Finance Raises $31m to Complete First Close of Financial Inclusion Fund II with Plans to Grow Savings Options

Bamboo Finance, a Luxembourg-based commercial investment firm, recently announced the first close of Financial Inclusion Fund II at USD 31 million, with the slate of investors including US-based financial services company Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America – College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) and European-based asset management company AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM). Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bamboo Finance Raises $31m to Complete First Close of Financial Inclusion Fund II with Plans to Grow Savings Options Posted in Investment Funds

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) Loans $6m to Indian Microfinance Institution (MFI) Sonata Finance

The Indian unit of UK-based commercial financial institution Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) recently notified MicroCapital that it has disbursed a loan of INR 370 million (USD 5.8 million) to Sonata Finance Private Limited, an Indian microfinance institution (MFI) that serves India’s northern states. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Money Transfer Startups Bitpesa, Igot Leverage Bitcoin to Reduce Price of Remittances

Currency exchange companies such as Kenya’s BitPesa and Australia’s Igot are tapping into remittance markets such as Kenya’s, which reached a volume of USD 1.43 billion in 2014, by using Bitcoin transfers to undercut the fees charged by firms such as US-based Western Union to deliver money across national borders.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Accion, Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), Triodos to Acquire Myanmar’s Dawn Microfinance for $7m

Accion, a US-based microfinance NGO; Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch public-private partnership that aims to promote growth in developing economies; and Triodos Investment Management, a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Triodos Bank, have announced plans to invest a total of USD 6.85 million in Dawn Microfinance, a Myanmar-based microfinance institution (MFI).

Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: African Microfinance Week (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance), June 29 – July 3, 2015, Dakar, Senegal, With On-site Reporting by MicroCapital

Event Name: African Microfinance Week (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) 2015

Event Dates: June 29 – July 3, 2015

Location: King Fahd Palace Conference Center, Dakar, Senegal

Event Summary: The second annual African Microfinance Week will center around “accelerating innovative rural finance in Africa,” providing practitioners with a venue for exchanging ideas and reflecting on the trajectory of the industry. The event is designed to improve “the synergies” between the Benin-based African Microfinance Network (AFMIN), an association of 21 national microfinance networks; the African Microfinance Transparency Forum (AMT), a South Africa-based group that aims to strengthen the performance of African microfinance institutions (MFIs); the African Rural & Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA), a Kenya-based group of 105 central banks, retail financial service providers and microfinance networks; and the Microfinance African Institutions Network (MAIN), a Cote d’Ivoire-based NGO with 71 members. The program is sponsored by the governments of Senegal and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg with support from the US-based Citi Foundation; the Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank; the United Nations Capital Development Fund; and Microfact, a nonprofit, web-based platform that provides toolkits for building the capacity of MFIs. The week will include plenary sessions, trainings, an investors’ fair and the general assemblies of AFMIN and MAIN. The primary languages of the event will be French and English. MicroCapital will provide sponsored, onsite coverage of selected sessions. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Grants Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) Status to Indian Microfinance Network Sa-Dhan

Sa-Dhan, a microfinance network in India with 251 member organizations, reportedly has been granted status as a self-regulatory organization (SRO) by the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central banking authority. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Standard Chartered Bank Loans $14m to Indian Microfinance Institution (MFI) SKS

The Indian unit of UK-based Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) recently notified MicroCapital that it has disbursed a loan of INR 900 million (USD 14 million) to SKS Microfinance, a for-profit Indian microfinance institution (MFI).  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Safaricom, Vodacom Partner to Support Cross-Border Mobile Money Transactions Between Kenya, Tanzania via M-Pesa

Safaricom, a Kenya-based telecommunications company, has partnered with South Africa-based telecommunications firm Vodacom to offer cross-border transactions via M-Pesa, a mobile money service developed by UK-based telecom company Vodafone, which is a majority shareholder in both Safaricom and Vodacom.  Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Safaricom, Vodacom Partner to Support Cross-Border Mobile Money Transactions Between Kenya, Tanzania via M-Pesa Posted in Africa, Mobile Money

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CelsiusPro Partners with BlueOrchard to Manage KfW’s Climate Insurance Fund (CIF), World Bank Group to Improve Agricultural Insurance in Ukraine

Swiss microfinance investment manager BlueOrchard and Swiss weather index insurance service provider CelsiusPro recently were appointed as co-managers of the Climate Insurance Fund (CIF), an initiative created by German development bank Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau Entwicklungsbank (KfW) that aims to reduce the vulnerability of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and low-income households to climate change by improving access to and use of insurance. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CelsiusPro Partners with BlueOrchard to Manage KfW’s Climate Insurance Fund (CIF), World Bank Group to Improve Agricultural Insurance in Ukraine Posted in Deals, Key Players, Microinsurance

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Acumen, Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, Unilever Partner to Support Smallholder Farmers through Enhanced Livelihoods Investment Initiative (ELII) in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean

The US-based non-profit venture fund Acumen, along with the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, an initiative of US-based Clinton Foundation, and the British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever recently partnered to launch a three-year, minimum USD 10 million Enhanced Livelihoods Investment Initiative (ELII) that aims to boost the economic development of approximately 300,000 smallholder farmers in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Provide $4.1m Risk Sharing Facility to Cameroonian Bank Banque Internationale du Cameroun pour l’Épargne et le Crédit (BICEC) for Agricultural Lending

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently signed an agreement with Banque Internationale du Cameroun pour l’Épargne et le Crédit (BICEC), a Cameroonian bank, to provide BICEC with a CFA 2.5 billion (USD 4.1 million) “risk sharing facility… to support its lending activities to agriculture cooperatives active in the productions of cassava, maize and sorghum” [1]. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Provide $4.1m Risk Sharing Facility to Cameroonian Bank Banque Internationale du Cameroun pour l’Épargne et le Crédit (BICEC) for Agricultural Lending Posted in Africa, Key Players