MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) Loans $9.3m to Mikrofin Banja Luka, MF Banka of Bosnia and Herzegovina for Micro- and Small Enterprise (MSE) in Rural Areas

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based government-backed investor in microfinance, has loaned a total of EUR 7 million (USD 9.3 million) to Mikrofin Banja Luka, a microfinance institution based in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and MF Banka, a subsidiary of Mikrofin formed in 2010, for on-lending to micro- and small enterprises (MSEs) in rural areas. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Loan $4m to Mikrokreditna Fondacija Mi-Bospo of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV), recently notified MicroCapital that it has opened a EUR 1.5 million (USD 1.9 million) credit line for Mikrokreditna Fondacija Mi-Bospo, a microlender in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) that loans exclusively to women [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Considering $100m in Loans for National Bank of Egypt for Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises; Trade Finance

The UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) recently revealed the pending approval of a finance facility of up to USD 100 million for the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), which is wholly owned by the Egyptian government. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Creation Investments Social Ventures Fund II Completes Closing with $75m, Disburses Equity Investments in Grupo Finclusion of Mexico; Sonata, Grameen Koota of India

Creation Investments Social Ventures Fund II, a US-based private equity fund managed by Creation Investments Capital Management, has completed final closing with USD 75 million in committed capital. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) Loans $13m to Newly Launched Sberbank BH of Bosnia and Herzegovina for Housing, Micro- and Small Enterprise (MSE)

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based investment company, and Sberbank BH, the Bosnia and Herzegovina branch of government-owned Sberbank of Russia, recently signed a EUR 10 million (USD 13.3 million) loan agreement. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Final Impact Evaluation of the ‘Saving for Change’ Program in Mali, 2009-2012;” by the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology at the University of Arizona and Innovations for Poverty Action; published by Oxfam America and Freedom from Hunger

By the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology at the University of Arizona and Innovations for Poverty Action, published by Oxfam America and Freedom from Hunger, April 2013, 216 pages, available at: https://www.freedomfromhunger.org/sites/default/files/SavingforChangeMaliResearchFullReportMay2013.pdf

This study was funded by Freedom from Hunger, a US-based non-governmental organization that works to alleviate hunger in 19 countries, and Oxfam America, a member of Oxfam International that seeks to reduce poverty worldwide. The study evaluated the impacts of Saving for Change (SfC), a savings-group (SG) program that was co-created in 2005 by Freedom from Hunger, Oxfam America and the Stromme Foundation, a Norway-based international development organization. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Caterpillar Foundation Donates $19m to Opportunity International to Reach 17m People in Africa, Asia and Latin America

Opportunity International, a US-based nonprofit organization that provides financial services to poor people in 24 countries, recently announced that Caterpillar Foundation, the philanthropic arm of US-based equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc., has granted Opportunity two multi-year donations totaling USD 19.2 million [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sanad Fund for MSME to Loan $2m to Al Majmoua of Lebanon for Microenterprises

The Sanad Fund for MSME (micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises), an initiative that invests in financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, recently agreed to grant a senior loan facility of USD 2 million to Al Majmoua, a Lebanese nongovernmental organization (NGO) that lends to microenterprises. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Microlenders Seek More Time to Repay Funds On-Lent in Andhra Pradesh, Where Microlender Sees “No Improvement At All”

Wholesale loans covering INR 55 billion (USD 944 million) in Indian microloans reportedly are at risk of becoming classified as “non-performing assets” (NPAs) if microfinance institutions (MFIs) do not begin making payments on the loans before the expiration of a 90-day repayment window that begins on June 30, 2013. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Philippines Allows Foreign Investors to Hold Stakes of up to 60% in Rural Banks

Philippine President Benigno Aquino reportedly has signed a law, entitled “An Act Allowing the Infusion of Foreign Equity in the Capital of Rural Banks,” that will allow foreign investors to own as much as 60 percent of the voting stock in Philippine “rural banks,” which are sponsored by the government of the Philippines for the purpose of promoting economic development in rural areas. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FINCA Becomes Majority Shareholder of Kashf Microfinance Bank of Pakistan with $8.4m Investment

Kashf Microfinance Bank Limited (KMBL), a Pakistan-based microfinance bank (MFB), recently announced an equity injection of PKR 824.7 million (USD 8.4 million) from FINCA Microfinance Coöperatief U.A., a Netherlands-based entity controlled by US-based NGO FINCA International. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) Receives $2.45m from UN’s MicroLead for Liberia Credit Union National Association

The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), a US-based association of credit union trade groups in 54 countries, recently received a four-year, USD 2.45 million grant from the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF’s) MicroLead program that it will direct to its new member organization, the Liberia Credit Union National Association (LCUNA), a network of 300 credit unions in Liberia that serve 36,000 individuals. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives, Habitat for Humanity Thailand, Citi Foundation Launch “Microsavings Program for Home Improvement”

Executive Vice President Somsak Kangteerawat of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives (BAAC), a government-owned bank in Thailand that extends credit to farmers, and Board Chairman Piriyah Wisedjinda of Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Thailand, a branch of the US-based NGO HFH International, have signed a memorandum of understanding establishing the “Microsavings Program for Home Improvement”, which is intended to support home improvements for low-income families living in areas of Thailand that are prone to flooding. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Gemalto Provides Biometric Smart Cards for “Prime Cash” Branchless Banking in Bangladesh

Gemalto, a digital security company based in the Netherlands, has developed a smart card-based system for two Bangladeshi businesses: Prime Bank Limited, a commercial bank founded in 1995, and Dipon Consultancy Services Limited (DCSL), a member of the Bangladesh-based conglomerate Dipon Group. The system will support the branchless banking service known as Prime Cash, which was established by the two firms in 2012. Continue reading