MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Loans $40m to Banco Internacional of Ecuador for On-lending to Small, Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Women-Owned Businesses

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that offers financial services to businesses and governments in developing countries with the aim of increasing economic growth, recently announced that it has lent USD 40 million to Banco Internacional, a commercial bank in Ecuador.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MasterCard, Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Seek to Advance Financial Inclusion via Public-Private Dialogue (PPD)

MasterCard, a US-based payments and technology company, and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), a network of 124 financial policymaking institutions from developing and emerging economies, recently announced a partnership within AFI’s Public-Private Dialogue Platform (PPD) to promote financial inclusion [1].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CAF Development Bank of Latin America Links Rural Health Clinics, Remote Medical Specialists via Telemedicine in Ecuador

CAF Development Bank of Latin America, a Venezuela-based multilateral financial institution that was formerly known as the Corporacion Andina de Fomento, recently partnered with Telesalud de Venezuela, a telemedicine firm that offers health services in rural and other underserved areas in Latin America, to pilot a health microinsurance project in Ecuador.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sanad Fund for MSME Loans $2.5m to Microfinance Institution Vitas Palestine

The Sanad Fund for MSME (Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises), an investment vehicle that provides medium- and long-term debt and equity financing to microfinance institutions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, has agreed to disburse USD 2.5 million to Vitas Palestine, a microfinance provider in the West Bank and Gaza, Palestine. The loan agreement will allow Vitas Palestine issue approximately 850 loans.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: C-Quadrat Asset Management’s Dual Return Vision Funds Loan $1.25m to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Armenia, Ghana

During April 2015, Austria’s C-Quadrat Asset Management disbursed from its Dual Return Funds local-currency loans totaling USD 1.25 million to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Armenia and Ghana.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Easing Regulations to Allow Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) to Loan up to $1,600 to Borrowers Earning up to $2,500

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the central banking authority of the country, recently announced that it raised the limit on the total of all loans disbursed by microfinance institutions (MFIs) to a single borrower from INR 50,000 (USD 790) to INR 100,000 (USD 1,600).

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: After Suspension Due to Low Repayment Rates, Bank Rakyat Indonesia, Bank Negara Indonesia, Bank Mandiri Resume Government’s $1.5b Kredit Usaha Rakyat (KUR) Microloan Program

Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) and Bank Mandiri, three state-owned banks in Indonesia, will resume efforts to distribute IDR 20 trillion (USD 1.5 billion) during 2015 via the microloan program Kredit Usaha Rakyat (KUR) [1].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Greta Bull Appointed CEO of CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor)

Greta Bull, the former manager of the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Financial Institutions Group (FIG) Advisory Services, has been appointed CEO of CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based nonprofit that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access. 

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) Market to Host Webinars on “Data Driven Social Performance Management,” May 26-27, 2015

Event Name: Webinar: Data Driven Social Performance Management

Event Dates: English-language webinars will be held on May 26, 2015, at 7:00 AM Eastern US Time and May 27, 2015, at noon Eastern US Time. A Spanish-language version of the webinar will be held on May 28, 2015 at noon Eastern US Time.

SPECIAL REPORT: June 3 is Deadline to Apply for $106k Sixth European Microfinance Award: “Microfinance in Post-Disaster, Post-Conflict Areas and Fragile States”

Through June 3, the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), a Luxembourg-based network of approximately 130 microfinance organizations and individuals, is accepting applications for the Sixth European Microfinance Award, which will include a cash prize of EUR 100,000 (USD 106,000). This year’s award aims to recognize providers of financial services in post-disaster, post-conflict and fragile states. Successful applicants will illustrate their strategy for increasing “both their own resilience and that of their clients,” while highlighting how these services will respond to the immediate, medium- and long-term needs of clients in afflicted areas. To qualify, an institution must be based in a developing country and obtain a letter of support from a member of e-MFP.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) Loans $16m to Indian Microfinance Institution (MFI) Janalakshmi Financial Services

The Indian unit of UK-based commercial institution Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) recently notified MicroCapital that it has disbursed a loan of INR 985 million (USD 15.5 million) to Janalakshmi Financial Services (JFS), an Indian microfinance institution (MFI).

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Driving Scale, Agent Network Density in Peru; Youth Banking in the Dominican Republic; Aging, Financial Inclusion in Colombia

“Aging and Financial Inclusion: An Opportunity;” published by HelpAge International and Accion’s Center for Financial Inclusion; 2015; 40 pages; available at https://centerforfinancialinclusionblog.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/aging_and_financial_inclusion_an_opportunity.pdf

This report highlights various barriers and opportunities in providing financial services to older people and helping younger people plan for old age, focusing on middle-income countries, in particular Colombia.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EFSE Lends $7.8m to Microfinance Institutions Mikrofin of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Opportunity Bank Serbia

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle focusing on Southeast Europe and Central Asia, recently invested in two microfinance institutions (MFIs) in an effort to support micro- and small enterprises: Mikrofin, an MFI in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a network of 64 offices; and Opportunity Bank Serbia (OBS), a member of US-based Opportunity International, which is active in 22 countries.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Voyager Innovation, Cash Credit to Offer Mobile Consumer Microloans in the Philippines via Smart Communication

Voyager Innovation, a tech company wholly owned by the Philippine wireless service provider Smart Communications, is partnering with the Bulgaria-based finance company Cash Credit to provide mobile-based consumer loans to approximately 75 million Smart Communication subscribers [1].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Capital India Raises Undisclosed Sum to Loan to Social Enterprises

Grameen Capital India, a Mumbai-based social business, recently raised fresh investment funds to provide debt finance for social enterprises in India from new investors including Ratan Tata, the former chairman of the India-based conglomerate Tata Group; Shrinivas Dempo, the chairman of Indian mining company Dempo Group; and Indian investment banker Vikram Gandhi. This is in addition to additional funds sourced from existing investors, the US-based nonprofit organization Grameen Foundation and two individual Indian investors, Amit Patni and Arihant Patni [1].