MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Germany’s Gemeinschaftsbank für Leihen und Schenken (GLS), Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Together Invest $34m in Green for Growth Fund Southeastern Europe (GGF)

Gemeinschaftsbank für Leihen und Schenken (GLS), a German bank that focuses on investing in social and ecological projects, reportedly has invested EUR 22 million (USD 23 million) in the Green for Growth Fund Southeast Europe (GGF), a Germany-based fund that invests in energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy sources. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UAE’s Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development Activates $200m Loan to Egyptian Government for Microfinance

The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, which is backed by the government of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, recently announced that its November 2014 agreement to loan USD 200 million to the government of Egypt has been activated. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Association of Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI), European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), Luxembourg Fund Labeling Agency (LuxFLAG) to Co-host “Impact Investing and Microfinance Conference,” April 29, 2015, Luxembourg

Event Name: Impact Investing & Microfinance Conference

Event Dates: April 29, 2015

Event Location: Namur Premises, Luxembourg Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: TriLinc Global Impact Fund Invests $15.5m in Africa, Latin America

TriLinc Global Impact Fund, a US-based private investment fund, recently approved USD 15.5 million in trade finance facilities for six companies located in Argentina, South Africa and Zambia. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Equitas Finance Borrows $16m in Non-Convertible Debentures (NCDs) from Franklin Templeton Mutual Funds

Equitas Finance Private Limited, subsidiary of Indian microlender Equitas Holdings Private Limited, has raised INR 1 billion (USD 16 million) from Franklin Templeton Mutual Funds, a US-based global investment firm. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Laku Pandai Branchless Banking to Launch in Indonesia via Bank Central Asia, Bank Mandiri, Bank Rakyat Indonesia and Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional

Four Indonesian financial institutions, Bank Central Asia (BCA), Bank Mandiri, Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) and Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional (BTPN), are collaborating with Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK), an arm of the Indonesian government that regulates financial institutions, to launch a branchless banking program known as Laku Pandai. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: University of Zurich’s Center for Microfinance (CMF) Establishes Microfinance Investment Indexes to Track Performance in EUR, USD

The Center for Microfinance at Switzerland’s University of Zurich has established two new microfinance investment indexes (MFIIs) to track the performance of microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs) [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to Loan $32m to Tunisia’s Banque de Tunisie for On-Lending to Micro, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs); $3.2m to Support Women-Led SMEs in Kosovo

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral financial institution, has agreed to lend EUR 30 million (USD 32 million) to Tunisia’s Banque de Tunisie, for on-lending to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Habib Bank of Pakistan to Acquire Control of “First Microfinance Bank” in Stages for Approximately $19m

Habib Bank, a Pakistan-based commercial bank, has unveiled plans to acquire a controlling stake in First Microfinance Bank Limited-Pakistan (FMFB-P), a Pakistani microbank, via a series of equity investments over the next three years. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: e-MFP Accepting Applications for $106k Sixth European Microfinance Award: “Microfinance in Post-Disaster, Post-Conflict Areas and Fragile States” Through June 3, 2015

The European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), a Luxembourg-based network of approximately 130 microfinance organizations and individuals, has announced that it is accepting applications for the Sixth European Microfinance Award, which will include a cash prize of EUR 100,000 (USD 106,000). This year’s award aims to recognize service providers operating in post-disaster, post-conflict and fragile states. Applications for the award may be submitted until June 3, 2015, by institutions that operate in such areas and provide financial services that are intended to increase the “resilience” of people in these areas. Successful applicants will illustrate their strategy for increasing “both their own resilience and that of their clients,” while highlighting how these services will respond to the immediate, medium- and long-term needs of clients in afflicted areas. To qualify, an institution must be based in a developing country and obtain a letter of support from a member of e-MFP. Continue reading

SPECIAL REPORT: Save the Date: African Microfinance Week (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance), June 29 – July 3, 2015, Dakar, Senegal

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 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.

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional (BTPN) of Indonesia Borrows $300m from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), International Finance Corporation (IFC) for Microenterprise Lending

The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), a Tokyo-based subsidiary of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, recently provided a loan of USD 300 million to Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional (BTPN), a commercial bank in Indonesia. Continue reading

SPECIAL REPORT: Save the Date: European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) to Host European Microfinance Week, November 18-20, 2015, Luxembourg

Event Name: European Microfinance Week 2015

Event Dates: November 18-20, 2015

Location: Luxembourg

Event Summary: The European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), a Luxembourg-based network of approximately 130 members, is hosting its annual European Microfinance Week. One day will consist of meetings of e-MFP’s eight action groups: “investors in tier 2/3 microfinance institutions (MFIs),” “making microfinance investment responsible,” “microfinance and the environment,” “remittances,” “research in microfinance,” “rural outreach and innovation,” “university meets microfinance,” and “youth financial inclusion.” The other two days will consist of traditional conference sessions as well as the presentation of the sixth annual European Microfinance Award. Further details regarding the event are expected to be released before the end of April. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microsoft, MasterCard to Provide Payment, Technology Support for Micro-Business Owners in Mexico

Microsoft Corporation, a US-based technology firm, and MasterCard, a US-based financial services corporation with operations in 210 countries, have announced a partnership through which they will seek to enhance information technology, communication and payments for small-scale merchants in Mexico. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Government of Egypt, MasterCard to Link National ID Card to Mobile Money Services, Extending Financial Services to “54m” Egyptians

MasterCard, a US-based payments company, and the Egyptian government have collaborated to link identification cards to the previously existing mobile money platform in the country. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: 12th “University Meets Microfinance” Workshop, Enhancing Food Security and Resilience to Climate Change: What Role for Microfinance, June 11-12, 2015, Bergamo, Italy

Event Name: 12th “University Meets Microfinance” Workshop, Enhancing Food Security and Resilience to Climate Change: What Role for Microfinance

Event Date: June 11-12, 2015

Event Location: University of Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy

Summary of Event: This conference will bring together academics, practitioners and students working on a variety of topics related to financial inclusion. Discussions will center around climate change, food security and microfinance, including case studies of financial services being used to mitigate the impact of climate change on smallholder farmers and ensure food security for these individuals and their families. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institutions African Century Leasing (ACL) of Zimbabwe, Reefy of Egypt Acquire Banking Licenses; ACL to Accept Deposits

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe recently granted a banking license to African Century Leasing (ACL), making it the first microfinance institution in the country that may accept deposits. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Base of Pyramid Asia (BOPA) Buys 33% Equity Stake in Alliance for Microfinance in Myanmar (AMFIM)

For an undisclosed price, Base of Pyramid Asia (BOPA), a Singapore-based equity investor in small microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Asia, recently purchased a 33-percent stake in the Alliance for Microfinance in Myanmar (AMFIM), a deposit-taking MFI that was launched in Myanmar in 2014. Continue reading