MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Financial Inclusion 2020 Announces Roadmap to Financial Inclusion, Highlights Importance of Technology

Financial Inclusion 2020 (FI2020), a campaign to extend financial inclusion to 2 billion people in developing countries by the year 2020, recently announced the findings of a survey of 300 financial sector practitioners on their perspectives about opportunities and challenges to FI2020’s goals. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Aavishkaar Goodwell Invests $6m in Electronic Payment Services (EPS); 4,500 ATMs Planned for Rural India

Aavishkaar Goodwell, an Indian-Dutch joint venture that invests in development projects, reportedly has invested an additional INR 360 million (USD 6 million) in Electronic Payment Services (EPS), an India-based company that provides electronic payment systems to merchants in Asia. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Hatton National Bank of Sri Lanka to Establish Microfinance Subsidiary

Hatton National Bank (HNB), a private commercial bank in Sri Lanka, has received approval from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the nation’s central banking authority, to establish a subsidiary that will manage HNB’s existing microfinance operations and “smallholder” agricultural finance services [1]. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Fifth Caribbean Microfinance Forum (CMF V) NEW LOCATION AND DATES

The Fifth Caribbean Microfinance Forum (CMF V), which had been scheduled to take place in Suriname from March 31, 2014, to April 3, 2014, instead will be held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, from June 2, 2014, to June 5, 2014.

The Caribbean Microfinance Forum is an annual gathering of microfinance institutions that was launched with the support of the Caribbean Microfinance Capacity Building Project (Carib-Cap), a joint effort of the US-based Multilateral Investment Fund, the Caribbean Development Bank, the EU’s European Commission and the US-based Citi Foundation.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Goodwell West Africa Invests Equity in MicroCred Microfinance Bank Nigeria

Goodwell West Africa, a private equity fund managed by Netherlands-based social investment company Goodwell Investments and Nigeria-based investment management and advisory firm Alitheia Capital, has announced that it will be investing equity of an unspecified amount in Microcred Microfinance Bank (MFB) Nigeria, a member of the France-based MicroCred Group [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kenya’s Credit Information Sharing (CIS) Mechanism Expanded to Deposit-Taking Microfinance Institutions, Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies, Expected to Lower Interest Rates

A Credit Information Sharing (CIS) feature that was implemented by Kenyan financial institutions in 2010 reportedly has been expanded to include deposit-taking microfinance institutions (DTMs) and savings and credit cooperative societies (SACCOS) in an effort to increase information sharing among financial institutions [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Goodwell West Africa Invests Equity in Mainstreet Microfinance Bank of Nigeria

Goodwell West Africa, a private equity fund managed by Netherlands-based social investment company Goodwell Investments and Nigeria-based investment management and advisory firm Alitheia Capital, has announced that it will be making an equity investment of an unspecified amount in Mainstreet Microfinance Bank (MFB), a microfinance institution in Nigeria [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: South Africa’s Futuregrowth Asset Management to Curtail Investments in Microlenders Distributing “Unsecured” Loans

Futuregrowth Asset Management, a South-Africa based investment company, recently announced that it will curtail its investments in microlenders that advance “unsecure” loans without collateral, which allegedly often results in borrowers receiving loans that they are unable to repay [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Aavishkaar Goodwell, Asia Pragati Invest $3.4m in Swarna Pragati Housing Microfinance in India

Aavishkaar Goodwell, an Indian-Dutch joint venture that invests in development projects, and Asia Pragati, an India-based non-banking financial company (NBFC) owned by Hong Kong-based Pacific Alliance Group (PAG), reportedly have invested a total of INR 210 million (USD 3.4 million) in Swarna Pragati Housing Microfinance, an Indian microfinance institution (MFI) that partners with local MFIs to provide housing loans in the country [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: United Bank of Switzerland (UBS) Launches “Impact Investing SME Focus Fund”

The United Bank of Switzerland (UBS), a Swiss financial services company, reportedly has launched an impact investment fund, named the “Impact Investing SME Focus Fund,” which will invest in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in unspecified emerging and frontier markets. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) Approves $300m Credit to Support “Housing Finance Project,” Housing Microfinance, in Nigeria

The International Development Association (IDA), the arm of US-based World Bank that provides interest-free credits and grants for programs in the poorest countries, has approved credit of USD 300 million to support Nigeria’s Housing Finance Project, which intends to provide access to long-term home financing for low-income people, including microentrepreneurs as well as those with higher incomes who are buying homes for the first time [1]. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “A Microcredit Crisis Averted: The Case of Bangladesh,” by Greg Chen and Stuart Rutherford, Published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor)

“A Microcredit Crisis Averted: The Case of Bangladesh,” by Greg Chen and Stuart Rutherford, Published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), July 2013, 20 pages, http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/Focus-Note-A-Microcredit-Crisis-Averted-July-2013.pdf Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Pakistani Government Asks Commercial Banks to Lend $940m More to Small Businesses Owned by Younger People

The Pakistani government reportedly has asked state-owned commercial banks such as the National Bank of Pakistan and First Women Bank Limited to provide loans ranging from PKR 500,000 (USD 4,720) to PKR 2 million (USD 18,900) to 100,000 borrowers within the next year. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) to Loan $20m to Bank Republic of Georgia to Support Lending to Micro-, Small Enterprises (MSEs)

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based, EU-backed microfinance investment vehicle (MIV), recently agreed to grant a senior loan facility of USD 20 million to Bank Republic, a Georgian member of the France-based financial group Société Générale [1]. Continue reading