MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Global Financial Development Report 2014,” Published by the World Bank

“Global Financial Development Report 2014,” published by The World Bank, January 2014, 225 pages, available at http://econ.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/EXTDEC/EXTGLOBALFINREPORT/0,,menuPK:8816192~pagePK:64168176~piPK:64168140~theSitePK:8816097,00.html

This report draws on research and analysis of the global financial services market to address the needs of low-income people that do not have access to financial services and recommends policies that the authors believe would increase financial inclusion. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Zwitserleven, Spoorweg Pensioenfonds, Pensioenfonds Openbaar Vervoer Invest in $135m SME Finance Fund of Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappijvoor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), Samenwerkende Nederlandse Spaarbanken (SNS) Impact Investing

Dutch pension insurer Zwitserleven, Dutch railway pension fund Spoorweg Pensioenfonds and Dutch public transport pension fund Pensioenfonds Openbaar Vervoer recently made the initial deposits to a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Finance Fund that has received a total of EUR 100 million (USD 134.5 million) for its first close from these and other undisclosed investors. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UK’s CDC Group Makes $16m Equity Investment as Part of $36m Package for Equitas

The CDC Group, a development finance institution owned by the UK government’s Department for International Development, has made an equity investment of USD 16 million in Equitas Holdings Private Limited (Equitas), a microfinance company based in Chennai, India [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to Loan $2m to FINCA Jordan for On-Lending to Micro-, Small Enterprises (MSEs)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral financial institution, recently announced that it will disburse a senior loan of USD 2 million to Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) Jordan, a microfinance institution (MFI) based in Jordan that is a part of the US-based, nonprofit FINCA International microfinance network. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kotak Mahindra Bank Launches Financial Inclusion Programme for Amul Milk-Cooperative Members in West Bengal, India

Kotak Mahindra Bank, a private bank in India, has launched a financial inclusion programme in the Indian state of West Bengal that is aimed at members of 75 cooperatives that supply milk to Amul, the brand owned by the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), a federation of 17 district-level cooperative unions with a combined membership of 3.18 million milk producers [1] [2]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Hindustan Co-operative Bank (HCBL) of India Provides Bank Accounts to Beggars

Hindustan Co-operative Bank  (HCBL), a bank in India, recently announced that it is providing bank accounts to “beggars” and other poor urban residents such as rickshaw drivers and artisans in order to increase financial inclusion in the country. The bank has opened 160 accounts for beggars in the city of Lucknow since 2013 [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Standard Chartered Bank Loans $12m to India’s Bandhan Financial Services for Microenterprise Lending

The Indian unit of UK-based commercial institution Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) recently notified MicroCapital that it has disbursed a loan of INR 750 million (USD 12 million) to Kolkata-based Bandhan Financial Services, which offers loans for microenterprise and health emergencies. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: From Access to Inclusion: Educating Clients; Economics of Digital Payment Systems; Financial Inclusion and Post Offices

From Access to Inclusion: Educating Clients,” published by Women’s World Banking; 2013; 32 pages, available at http://www.womensworldbanking.org/publications/access-inclusion-educating-clients/

This report addresses the use of mass media campaigns and one-to-one outreach by financial institutions to provide financial education to low-income women in order to promote increased usage of financial products. Research by Women’s World Banking (WWB) indicates that people with the most need for microfinance products, such as small business loans, savings accounts and microinsurance, often fail to use the services not because of lack of access, but rather due to inexperience with the formal financial sector. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank’s International Development Association Donating $50m to Support Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA), Afghanistan Credit Guarantee Facility

The World Bank, a US-based multilateral institution, recently approved grants totaling USD 50 million to the Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA), a government-backed microfinance funder, and the Afghanistan Credit Guarantee Facility, an organization that provides partial risk guarantees on loans retail institutions disburse to small- and medium-sized enterprises, in an effort to stimulate economic growth in the country by increasing access to financial services for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Dutch Development Bank Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappijvoor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO) Planning to Loan $10m to Bank Andara of Indonesia for On-lending to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

Dutch development bank Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappijvoor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO) recently signed a letter of intent with Bank Andara (Andara), an Indonesian provider of retail and wholesale microfinance services, to provide a local-currency senior loan equivalent to USD 10 million for on-lending to local microfinance institutions (MFIs). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Accion Venture Lab Invests in Kenyan Mobile Money System Kopo Kopo, MeraDoctor of India

US-based nonprofit Accion has announced that its Accion Venture Lab, a USD 10 million investment vehicle that provides seed capital and management support to financial inclusion startups, has invested unspecified amounts of money in two companies: Kopo Kopo, a Kenya-based service that allows small businesses to accept customer payments through mobile phone; and MeraDoctor, which provides low-cost health insurance in India as well as 24-hour access to doctors by telephone that is intended to lessen health impacts by reducing delays in seeking care [1]. Continue reading