MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Moody’s Analytics, Microfinance Centre (MFC) Partner to Launch Social Performance Assessment (SPA) in Europe, Central Asia

Moody’s Analytics, a unit of US-based Moody’s Corporation that aims to help capital markets and credit risk professionals respond to market changes, and the Microfinance Centre (MFC), a Poland-based microfinance resource center, recently partnered to launch Moody’s Analytics Social Performance Assessment (SPA), a tool that analyzes the performance of microfinance institutions and operations, in Europe and Central Asia. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Association of Microfinance Institutions Plans to Appeal New Law “On Restriction of Usurious Activities in the Kyrgyz Republic”

Almazbek Atambayev, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, reportedly has signed a law entitled “On Restriction of Usurious Activities in the Kyrgyz Republic” that establishes an interest rate cap on microloans. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Papua New Guinea, Pacific Financial Inclusion Program, Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion to Extend Financial Inclusion to 1.6m People in Papua New Guinea by 2015

The Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG), the nation’s central bank, the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP), a UN-sponsored initiative that provides financial services to poor people, and the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI), a coordinating entity for financial inclusion strategies in the country, met in August 2013 to discuss extending financial inclusion to 1.6 million unbanked and underbanked Papua New Guineans, of which 50 percent are low income women, by 2015. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: responsAbility Loans $20m to UT Bank Ghana to Support Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)

ResponsAbility Social Investments, a Swiss investment company with a focus on microfinance, recently notified MicroCapital that it disbursed a loan of USD 20 million in August 2013 to UT Bank Ghana Limited (UT Bank), a Ghanaian commercial bank with 26 branches. The loan will be used to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Blue Label Telecoms, MasterCard Partner to Provide Point-of-Sale Devices (POS) to Rural Shops in South Africa

Blue Label Telecoms Limited (Blue Label), a South Africa-based distributor of financial transaction services, and MasterCard, a US-based payments and technology company, are partnering to provide 22,000 small traders and rural shop owners in South Africa with point-of-sale (POS) devices that will allow businesses currently operating on a cash-only basis to accept card payments [2]. Blue Label set up POS terminals throughout South Africa, but the partnership with MasterCard will allow the distributor to reach more small- and medium-sized retailers and service providers. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Loans $1m to Transcapital Financial Services (TFS) of Mongolia to Support Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises

The UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) recently signed a deal with Mongolian microfinance institution (MFI) Transcapital Financial Services (TFS) to provide a local-currency loan of MNT 1.62 billion (USD 1 million) for on-lending to microenterprises throughout Mongolia. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA), Banking Production Centre (BPC) Banking Technologies Group Partner to Provide Electronic Money in Palestine

The Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA), the territory’s central bank, with the help of the Banking Production Centre (BPC) Banking Technologies Group, a Russia-based e-payment solutions provider for the financial industry, plans to launch a national electronic payment system in an effort to transition Palestine away from its current cash and check system. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria Launches $1.3b Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s central banking authority, reportedly has launched a NGN 220 billion (USD 1.3 billion) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Fund, which is intended to offer loans to microfinance institutions (MFIs) at an interest rate of 9 percent or less per year [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sanad Fund for MSME Loans $1m to Middle East Micro Credit Company (MEMCC) of Jordan to Expand Lending Services

The Sanad Fund for MSME (micro-, small, and medium-enterprises), a Luxembourg-based initiative that invests in financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, recently provided a local-currency loan of JOD 709,000 (USD 1 million) to the Middle East Micro Credit Company (MEMCC), a Jordan-based for-profit development institution that operates under Global Communities, provides loans to micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises, to further expand its lending services [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Macedonian Aspekt, Bosnian EKI Sign Deal to Implement Microfinance Software

Aspekt, a Macedonia-based computer technology company, has signed an agreement with Microcredit Foundation EKI, a Bosnia-based microcredit foundation that aims to reduce poverty in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to implement Aspekt’s microfinance software solution to support EKI’s microcredit services [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MasterCard, South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) Distribute 10m Biometrically Secured Debit Cards to Social Grant Beneficiaries

MasterCard Incorporated, a US-based global payments and technology company, and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), a government-funded organization that distributes social grant funds, have distributed 10 million active MasterCard debit cards to individual beneficiaries in South Africa, replacing cash payments. Continue reading