MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Unit Trust of Tanzania (UTT) to Split into UTT Microfinance, UTT Asset Management and Investor Service (UTT AMIS), UTT Project and Infrastructure Development (UTT PID)

Unit Trust of Tanzania (UTT), a government-owned trust fund established in 2003, reportedly has decided to split into three separate firms: UTT Microfinance, UTT Asset Management and Investor Service (UTT AMIS) and UTT Project and Infrastructure Development (UTT PID) [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Bandhan Microfinance Institution to Cut Interest Rates as a Commercial Bank

Bandhan Microfinance, a microfinance institution (MFI) based in Kolkata, India, has applied for a banking license to convert to a commercial bank, which reportedly will reduce costs, reduce interest rates on loans and increase the number of clients [1]. The current interest rate on loans that Bandhan offers is 22 percent; as a commercial bank it can potentially offer rates as low as 12 percent because it can fund loans from deposits, thus reducing its dependence on borrowing costly funds from other banks [2]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroCredit Enterprises Partners with Freedom from Hunger to offer Health-related Services to Clients of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

MicroCredit Enterprises (MCE), a US-based NGO microfinance fund manager, and Freedom from Hunger, a US-based NGO that aims to alleviate hunger and poverty, are collaborating on a project that will offer “health-related education, loans, savings, insurance and linkages to local healthcare providers” in hopes that it will alleviate loan defaults caused by poor health and strengthen clients’ abilities to endure income-producing activities [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO, International Finance Corporation (IFC), KfW Entwicklungsbank Invest $5.4m in AccessBank Rwanda

The Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden NV (FMO), a Dutch development bank that aims to promote growth in the economies of developing countries; the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group that offers assistance to private companies with the goal of alleviating poverty in developing countries; and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau Entwicklungsbank (KfW), a state-owned German development bank, have invested RWF 3.5 billion (USD 5.4 million) in AccessBank Rwanda (ABR), the eighth member of Access Microfinance Holding AG (AccessHolding), a German company that invests in microfinance institutions [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MasterCard, Nigeria National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to Produce 13 Million “National Identity Smart Cards”

MasterCard, a US-based payment solutions company, recently announced a new partnership with the Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), an initiative of the Nigerian government to enroll all citizens and permanent residents into a national identity database, to produce 13 million “National Identity Smart Cards” that can be used as both identification cards as well as an electronic payment solution. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC), Siddhartha Bank Limited (SBL) Purchase 440k Shares of Rural Microfinance Development Center (RMDC) of Nepal Via Initial Public Offering (IPO)

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently purchased 300,000 shares at NPR 180 (USD 1.87) per unit from an initial public offering (IPO) by the Rural Microfinance Development Center (RMDC), a Nepal-based wholesale microcredit lender. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Association of Microfinance Institutions in Uganda (AMFIU), National Network of People Living with HIV Uganda (PLHIV), Stop Aids Now, Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (Hivos), Agency for Co-operation in Research and Development (ACORD) to Support MFI Clients Affected by HIV/AIDS in Uganda

The Association of Microfinance Institutions in Uganda (AMFIU), an umbrella organization for Ugandan microfinance institutions (MFIs) and related organizations, recently announced four new partnerships in an effort to support clients affected by HIV and AIDS illnesses in Uganda. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Depositors Withdraw Savings from Microfinance Firms in Kumasi, Ghana amid Lack of Safety Nets for Clients

High rates of deposit withdrawals reportedly are occurring in Ghanaian city of Kumasi, which allegedly is attributed to the lack of safety nets protecting depositors in case firms are shut down by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the country’s main financial regulator. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Pasha Bank Underwrites Inaugural Bond Issue of $12.7m to FINCA Azerbaijan to Support Micro and Small Businesses, Entrepreneurs

Pasha Bank, an Azerbaijan-based financial services provider, recently underwrote a three-year inaugural bond issue of AZN 10 million (USD 12.7 million) to the Azerbaijan-based subsidiary of the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA), a US-based microfinance network. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Loans $2m to Kreditimi Rural i Kosoves of Kosovo

The UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) recently loaned EUR 1.5 million (USD 2 million) to Kreditimi Rural i Kosoves Limited Liability Company (KRK), a non-bank microfinance institution (MFI) that serves rural areas in Kosovo, for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and residential clients in Kosovo for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) Launches India Microfinance Platform

The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), a state-owned bank, with the help of the World Bank, a US-based international development institution, and implemented by the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), has launched the India Microfinance Platform, a web-based portal that will provide information on all the microfinance organizations in India. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Loans $1m to BancoSol of Bolivia to Support Rural Areas

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently notified MicroCapital that it will provide a loan of up to USD 1 million to Banco Solidario SA (BancoSol), a Bolivian commercial bank that offers microfinance services, in an effort to improve financial access for farmers and poor rural families in the Bolivian cities of La Paz, Oruro and Potosi [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Risk Management Initiative in Microfinance (RIM) Launched

MFX Solutions, a US-based company that provides currency hedging solutions for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs), recently announced that it is one of eight partners launching the Risk Management Initiative in Microfinance (RIM), which will aim to mitigate challenges MFIs face in risk management; promote best practices; institute global MFI risk management standards; and protect MFIs and their clients from internal and external risks. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nepal’s Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) See 21% Growth in Profit During 2013-2014 Amidst Concerns over High Interest Rates Charged to Borrowers

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Nepal reportedly are experiencing a period of growth that some say can be attributed to high interest rates charged to borrowers. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Gray Matters Capital Invests Equity in Unitus Capital

Unitus Capital (UC), a Bangalore-based financial services firm that specializes in capital market services for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social enterprises in Asia, recently announced that Gray Matters Capital (GMC), a US-based private foundation, invested an undisclosed amount in UC to fund social businesses that both assist poor clients and generate financial returns. Continue reading