MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) to Offer Validated Social Data from Microfinance Institutions

The Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), a US-based nonprofit, recently announced plans to release a feature on its MIX Market website in 2013 that will allow users to search for “validated social data” from microfinance institutions (MFIs) and filter out those not reporting such data. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) to Loan $6m to Mikrofin Banja Luka of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Inecobank of Armenia

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV), has recently disbursed a loan of EUR 4 million (USD 5.2 million) to Mikrofin Banja Luka of Bosnia and Herzegovina and AMD 375 million (USD 911,600) to Inecobank of Armenia [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Atlantic Bank of Belize Extend Effort to Improve Access to Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises, Increase Portfolio to $35m by 2014

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and Atlantic Bank, a Belizean bank majority-held by Sociedad Nacional de Inversiones, SA of Honduras, recently launched the second phase of a project with the aim of improving access to financial services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Belize with support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Inter-American Development Bank Promotes Psychometric Testing for Screening Loan Applicants

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a multilateral institution financing development efforts in Latin America, recently released an article arguing that psychometric testing can be used by financial institutions to reduce defaults on loans by 20 to 40 percent, increase profits by 15 to 30 percent and reduce operational costs associated with traditional credit evaluation and due diligence by approximately 60 percent. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Online Fundraiser Kiva Discloses Delinquencies of Microfinance Institutions Alidé of Benin, FECECAV of Togo

Kiva, a US-based online microlending fundraiser, recently reported on delinquent payments due to Kiva by non-profit institutions L’Association de Lutte pour la promotion des Initiatives de Développement (Alidé) of Benin and Faîtière des Caisses d’Epargne et de Crédit des Associations Villageoises (FECECAV) of Togo. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Union Commit $25m to Kyrgyz Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (KyrSEFF)

The UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) recently launched the Kyrgyz Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (KyrSEFF), a USD 20 million credit line supporting energy efficiency projects for households and private enterprises in the Kyrgyz Republic. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion Publishes Data on 192 Countries

The Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), which is mandated to carry out the financial inclusion action plan endorsed at the 2010 summit of the Group of 20 (G20) large economies, has released a set of “basic” financial inclusion indicators populated with data from 192 countries. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: South Africa’s Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) to Disburse $81m to 15,000 Small Businesses

Chief Executive Officer Thankani Makhuvha of South Africa’s Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), a government-funded entity, has reportedly stated that the organization intends to disburse approximately ZAR 737 million (USD 81 million) in loans to 15,000 small businesses in South Africa during the year ending March 31, 2014. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATON ROUND-UP: Rural Finance in Laos, Micro-Health Insurance in Rural India, Distribution Models in Mobile Financial Services

“Rural Finance in Loas: GIZ Experience in Remote Rural Areas;” by Klaus Prochaska, Dennis Fischer, Philipp Hauger, Tony Deary; published by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ); December 2012; 40 pages; available at: http://www.microfinancegateway.org/gm/document-1.9.61072/Rural_Finance_in%20Laos_Paper_GIZ_2012.pdf

This report presents an analysis of the “Microfinance in Rural Areas – Access to Finance for the Poor” project, which is operated by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), an agency of the German Government, in partnership with the Bank of Lao, the central bank of Laos. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Absolute Portfolio Management Loans $13m from Dual Return Funds to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in South America, Eurasia Including FINCA Armenia

Absolute Portfolio Management (APM), an Austria-based firm that invests in microfinance and other sectors, recently notified MicroCapital that it loaned the equivalent of USD 13 million during April 2013 through two of the funds that it manages to microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Honduras, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Peru, the Philippines, Russia and Tajikistan. Of this amount, USD 7.5 million was issued in local currency. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Cuba Leases 2,000 State Firms to Private Sector

According to Cuba’s Domestic Trade Ministry, a government body charged with implementing and monitoring domestic wholesale and retail commerce, 2,041 businesses have been leased to 5,479 former employees as part of Cuba’s economic reform plan to introduce non-state management in 47 economic activities. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: U’yo’olché, Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (FMCN) Look to Carbon Credits to Finance Improved Cook Stoves to Reduce Emissions, Improve Living Standards, Promote Women’s Rights in Rural Mexico

U’yo’olché, a Mexican environmental non-governmental organization (NGO), and Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza, A.C. (FMCN), a nonprofit funder of environmental efforts, are leading an initiative to provide improved cook stoves to families in rural areas of southern Mexico with the aim of reducing wood consumption, eliminating hazardous household smoke, decreasing the risk of accidents, minimizing household expenses and promoting women’s empowerment. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) to Loan $16m to ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank of Armenia

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV), has notified MicroCapital that it recently disbursed two loans totaling the equivalent of USD 16 million to Agricultural Cooperative Bank of Armenia-Credit Agricole Bank (ACBA), a microfinance bank partially owned by French bank Credit Agricole. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India Aims to Increase Financial Inclusion in Unbanked Areas; Number of Indian Villages with Financial Access Tripled to 211k

According to data presented by Deepali Pant Joshi, executive director of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), at the recent International Summit of Skill Development in New Delhi, the number of villages with access to banks has risen from 67,000 in March 2010 to 211,000 in December 2012 out of a total of 600,000 villages in the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Opens $112m in Credit Lines to Société Générale Expressbank, Sogelease Bulgaria for On-lending, Leasing to Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises

The UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has agreed to loan up to EUR 85 million (USD 111.5 million) to two units of French-based Société Générale Group to finance the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Bulgaria. Continue reading