MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank For Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Brings “Small Business Support” Facility to Jordan, Delivering Technical Assistance to Small, Medium-Sized Firms

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral financial institution headquartered in the UK, has brought its Small Business Support (SBS) facility for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to Jordan. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), BG Kazakhstan to Extend Technical Assistance to Programme for Women, Young Entrepreneurs in Kazakhstan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral financial institution, has announced that it will add a second year to its effort with BG Kazakhstan, a subsidiary of UK-based oil and gas company BG Group, to support women and young entrepreneurs in the Burlinskiy district of western Kazakhstan [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ) Holdings to Develop Low-Cost Housing in Zimbabwe

Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ) Holdings, a Zimbabwe-based financial services conglomerate, recently announced that it will begin building low-cost houses in June 2014 on some of the land it owns, which is valued at a total of USD 66.7 million, with the aim of alleviating the shortage of housing facilities in Zimbabwe. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Opal Financial Group to Host “European Family Office & Private Wealth Management Forum,” June 4 – 6, 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

Event Name: European Family Office & Private Wealth Management Forum

Event Date: June 4 – 6, 2014

Event Location: Intercontinental Geneve Hotel, Geneva, Switzerland Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Belgazprombank (BGPB) of Belarus to Receive $41m Syndicated Loan from European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE)

Belgazprombank (BGPB), a Belarus-based commercial bank owned by Gazprom of Russia, Gazprombank of Russia, Beltransgaz of Belarus and the Belorussian government, recently entered into an agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral financial institution, and the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle, to accept a five-year, syndicated loan of  EUR 30 million (USD 41.4 million). Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Using Subsidies for Inclusive Insurance: Lessons from Agriculture and Health;” by Ruth Vargas Hill, Gissele Gajate-Garrido, Caroline Phily, and Aparna Dalal; Published by International Labour Organization

“Using Subsidies for Inclusive Insurance: Lessons from Agriculture and Health;” by Ruth Vargas Hill, Gissele Gajate-Garrido, Caroline Phily, and Aparna Dalal; published by International Labour Organization; January 2014; 55 pages; available at http://www.microinsurancefacility.org/publications/mp29

This report was published by the Microinsurance Innovation Facility, a nonprofit research institution housed within the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) that promotes the development of insurance products and risk-mitigation markets in developing economies. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Literature Review on the Impact of Microinsurance,” Published by Microinsurance Innovation Facility

“Literature Review on the Impact of Microinsurance,” published by the Microinsurance Innovation Facility, October 2013, 15 pages, available at http://www.microinsurancefacility.org/publications/rp35

Microinsurance is a financial instrument that provides coverage to help low-income individuals hedge against various risks. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Goldman Sachs, International Finance Corporation (IFC) Announce $600m Fund for Women-owned Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the US-based World Bank Group, and US-based investment bank Goldman Sachs Group (GS) recently announced the establishment of the “Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility,” a USD 600 million credit fund aimed at supporting women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging economies. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s IntelleGrow Completes Second Round of Financing, Raising $4.6m from Omidyar Network, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation

IntelleGrow, an India-based lender to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), recently announced that it raised INR 250 million (USD 4.1 million) from Omidyar Network, a US-based social investment firm, and INR 30 million (USD 500,000) from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, a US-based nonprofit institution, in return for stakes in the company of undisclosed size. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Union, Republic of Turkey Provide $469m For Female Entrepreneurs in Turkey

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral financial institution, in partnership with the European Union and the Republic of Turkey, is launching a “Women in Business Programme” in 2014 to provide financial and technical support services totaling EUR 338 million (USD 469 million) for female entrepreneurs in Turkey. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Airtel Zambia to Include Life Insurance Coverage In Mobile Subscriber Plans

Airtel Zambia, a subsidiary of Indian telecommunications company Airtel, in partnership with Zambian insurance company Focus General Insurance and UK-based microinsurer MicroEnsure, is now including free life insurance coverage to mobile subscribers who pay ZMW 10 (USD 1.77) or more per month for their phone service. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Limits Exclusive Agreements Between Telecommunications Providers, Mobile Money Agents

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the country’s central bank, has issued a directive limiting telecommunications providers’ ability to enter into exclusive service agreements with mobile money agents. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Limits Exclusive Agreements Between Telecommunications Providers, Mobile Money Agents Posted in Africa

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Considers Relaxing Capital Requirements for New Bank Licenses

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, recently commissioned an investigative panel, the Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low Income Households (the Committee), to create a policy framework for achieving financial inclusion in India and to make formal recommendations on how to implement the framework. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Unfixes Microloan Interest Rate Cap to Vary Based on Cost of Funding

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, has announced that as of April 1, 2014, it will remove the 26-percent interest rate cap established in 2011 on all microloans extended by microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), MobiPay to Launch “MTC Money” in Namibia

Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), a Namibia-based mobile network operator controlled by the government-owned Namibia Post and Telecommunications Holdings and privately-owned Portugal Telecom, reportedly has partnered with the Bank of Namibia’s mobile payment service MobiPay to launch MTC Money. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Public Investment Corporation of South Africa Among Those Demanding Resignation of Thierry Tanoh, CEO of Togo-Based EcoBank

Mr Thierry Tanoh, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Togo-based EcoBank Transnational Incorporated (EcoBank), has been called to step down due to allegations of being “unfit to lead” the bank [1]. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Public Investment Corporation of South Africa Among Those Demanding Resignation of Thierry Tanoh, CEO of Togo-Based EcoBank Posted in Africa, Regulation, Risks

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Asian Development Bank Approves $600k for Microfinance Development in Azerbaijan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), a development finance institution based in the Philippines, has agreed to commit USD 600,000, including USD 300,000 from ADB’s Financial Sector Development Partnership Fund, to provide technical assistance for the development of Azerbaijan’s microfinance sector. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India-based Elevar Seeks to Raise $75m for Third Impact-Investing Private Equity Fund, Receives Commitment from Omidyar Network

Elevar Equity, an India-based private equity fund that is focused on “impact investing,” is seeking to raise USD 75 million for its third fund by the end of 2014. Elevar reportedly has received commitments of unspecified amounts from two investors, including US-based investment firm Omidyar Network. Continue reading

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