MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kaah Express, Silatech, American Refugee Committee (ARC) to Launch Kaah Islamic Microfinance Services in Somalia

Kaah Express, a US-based international remittances company, reportedly has partnered with Silatech, a Qatar-based enterprise focused on increasing employment and entrepreneurship among youth in the Middle East and North Africa, and the American Refugee Committee (ARC), a US-based nonprofit that offers humanitarian aid across the globe, to create Kaah Islamic Microfinance Services (KIMS), a commercial microfinance institution (MFI) in Somalia. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Microcredit Summit Campaign Report; responsAbility Financial, Social Impact Assessment; Microinsurance Education in Zambia

“Resilience: The State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign Report, 2014;” published by RESULTS Educational Fund; 2014; 68 pages; available in web format at http://stateofthecampaign.org/2014-report-executive-summary/or for purchase as a PDF or in print form at http://www.scribd.com/doc/229959504/Resilience-The-State-of-the-Microcredit-Summit-Campaign-Report-2014

This report examines the reach and effectiveness of microfinance institutions (MFIs) on a global scale using data as recent as from 2012. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: JPMorgan Chase Commits $30m to “Financial Solutions Lab”

JP Morgan Chase, a US-based investment and banking firm, reportedly has committed USD 30 million for the establishment of a “Financial Solutions Lab.” The lab will be created as a five-year project with the Center for Financial Services Innovation, a US-based nonprofit consultancy specializing in serving unbanked and underbanked consumers. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFMR of India Receives Approval to Launch “FImpact Investment Fund”

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has approved the launch of the “IFMR FImpact Investment Fund” (IFMR FImpact), a social-venture scheme managed by IFMR Investment Managers Private Limited (IFMR Investments), the asset management arm of the Chennai-based, nonprofit IFMR Trust Group. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION WRAP-UP: “Financial Inclusion and Development: Recent Impact Evidence;” by Robert Cull, Tilman Ehrbeck, Nina Holle; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor)

“Financial Inclusion and Development: Recent Impact Evidence;” by Robert Cull, Tilman Ehrbeck and Nina Holle; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) as Focus Note Number 92; April 2014; 12 pages; available at http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/FocusNote-Financial-Inclusion-and-Development-April-2014.pdf

The authors of this document argue that “financial inclusion is an important development priority”[1] that helps poor people around the world improve their lives. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Punjab, MasterCard Launch Electronic Government-To-Person Social Security Payment System in Pakistan

The Bank of Punjab, which is owned by the government of the Pakistani province of Punjab, and MasterCard Incorporated, a US-based payments and technology company with operations in 210 countries and territories, recently announced a “Social Security Program” to convert government assistance to individuals to electronic payments. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) Loans $12m to Araratbank of Armenia to Support Micro-, Small Enterprises (MSEs)

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle, has announced that it is loaning USD 12 million to Araratbank Open Joint Stock Corporation (OJSC), an Armenian bank that provides financial services to micro- and small enterprises (MSEs) [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Transfers Microfinance Portfolio in Myanmar to Pact Global Microfinance Fund

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), whose goal is to work toward the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, reportedly has transferred the portion of its microfinance portfolio that is disbursed in Myanmar to the US-based Pact Global Microfinance Fund (PGMF), which disburses microcredit and offers business training in Myanmar’s rural regions. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: ANZ Royal Bank, Microfinance Institution (MFI) Hattha Kaksekar Limited (HKL) to Share Branches, ATMs

ANZ Royal Bank (ANZ), a joint venture between the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ Group) and the Cambodian Royal Group of Companies, and Hattha Kaksekar Limited (HKL), a Cambodian microfinance institution (MFI), reportedly have entered into a partnership to offer a wider range of financial service products to the clients of the two institutions. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank Group’s Global Consumption Database Suggests 4.5b Low-income People Spend $5t Per Year in Developing World

The Global Consumption Database recently released by the World Bank Group (WBG) suggests that the total annual spending of approximately 4.5 billion people with low incomes in the developing world exceeded USD 5 trillion in 2010, more than the combined spending of the middle- and high-income groups in the same 92 developing countries. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Egypt Approves Microfinance Law in Effort to Expand Access to Microcredit, Bring Microenterprises into Formal Economy

The government of Egypt reportedly has approved a new law that will expand informal businesses’ access to loans of up to EGP 100,000 (USD 13,985) by enabling non-bank microfinance institutions (MFIs) to enter the formal microfinance sector, which had been restricted to banks and NGOs. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Investment Fund (EIF) to Guarantee $9m in Microloans Disbursed by Romania’s Libra Internet Bank Under Progress Microfinance Facility

The European Investment Fund (EIF), a provider of finance to lenders to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and Libra Internet Bank, a Romania-based bank that conducts the majority of its business online, have signed a guarantee agreement to help Libra lend RON 30 million (USD 9.26 million) to 400 microbusinesses in Romania. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank Indonesia Revises Electronic Money Policy, Allows Banks with $2b in Core Capital to Offer “Digital Financial Services” Via Agents

Bank Indonesia (BI), the central bank of Indonesia, reportedly has amended its electronic money regulations to allow all banks with at least IDR 30 trillion (USD 2.6 billion) in core capital to offer “digital financial services” to customers including the option for third-party agents to provide access to services in rural areas on behalf of the banks. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bandhan Financial Services of India Plans Public Offering (IPO) Within Three Years

Bandhan Financial Services, an Indian microfinance institution that recently received a provisional banking license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), reportedly is planning to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO) sometime within the next three years. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF) Loans $2m to Cambodian Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea; Invests $546k in Equity in Palestinian Arab Center for Agricultural Development

The Luxembourg-based Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), which provides financial services to “social businesses,” recently informed MicroCapital that it has provided a three-year loan of EUR 1.5 million (USD 2.05 million) to Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea Company Limited (AMK), a microfinance institution located in Cambodia. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC), MasterCard Foundation, Tigo to Expand Mobile Financial Services in Ghana

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the World Bank Group; the MasterCard Foundation, a Canadian nonprofit founded by US-based global payment processing company MasterCard that aims to promote youth learning and financial inclusion in emerging markets; and Tigo Ghana, a unit of Luxembourg-based telecommunication firm Millicom International Cellular, recently announced that they have signed an agreement worth USD 2 million to provide advisory services to support Tigo Ghana “to develop and expand mobile financial services in support of wider financial inclusion”[1] in Ghana. Continue reading