MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nepal Rastra Bank Allows Acquisitions of Financial Institutions

Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the country’s central bank, recently announced the approval of an acquisition bylaw that will allow banks and financial institutions to acquire similar institutions in the market. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Responsible Equity Exits in Microfinance; Greenfield Microfinance Models in Africa; Mobile Financial Services Usage Among Rural Women in India, Philippines

“The Art of the Responsible Exit in Microfinance Equity Sales;” by Daniel Rozas, Deborah Drake, Estelle Lahaye, Katharine McKee and Danielle Piskadlo; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); April 2014; 32 pages; available at http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/Forum-Art-of-the-Responsible-Exit-April-2014.pdf

This paper explores how microfinance investment intermediaries (MIIs) and development finance institutions (DFIs) can exit responsibly from microfinance institutions (MFIs) in which they have invested equity as well as how investors can contribute to healthy development of the overall market. The authors conducted six case studies and interviewed representatives from MIIs, nongovernmental organizations, DFIs, MFIs and merger-and-acquisition specialists. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Colombian Government Seeks to Reduce Cost of Remittances

The Colombian government reportedly has announced that it is seeking to reduce the cost of remittance services under its Financial Inclusion Law by encouraging the creation of new financial institutions called Specialized Partnerships in Electronic Deposits and Payments. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Financiera Edyficar Launches Microfinance Institution (MFI) Encumbra in Colombia

Peru-based microlender Financiera Edyficar (Edyficar), an operating subsidiary of Peruvian bank holding company Credicorp, recently launched a microfinance institution (MFI) named Encumbra in the Colombian city of Medellin that will serve the micro- and small enterprise sector in the country. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: International Conference of Social and Solidarity Finance, May 8-9, 2014, Bochum, Germany

Event  Name: International Conference of Social and Solidarity Finance

Event Date: May 8-9, 2014

Event Location: GLS Bank (Gemeinschaftsbank für Leihen und Schenken eG), Bochum, Germany Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Akhuwat, MyBiz Pakistan Launch Incubation Centre to Support Growth of Microenterprises in Pakistan

Akhuwat, a Pakistan-based nonprofit microfinance institution (MFI), in collaboration with MyBiz Pakistan, a nonprofit initiative that provides business advisory services and seed-stage financing for small businesses, recently launched the MyBiz Incubation Centre (MyBiz Incubation), a program that aims to develop microenterprises in the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Yes Bank’s Sampann, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Bank Use “Doorstep” Banking in Rural India

Two private commercial banks based in the Indian city of Mumbai, Yes Bank and the Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Bank, reportedly have started using “doorstep” banking in rural India to reach more customers by offering services such as credit, savings and insurance at customers’ homes. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Airtel Ghana, MicroEnsure, Enterprise Life Roll Out Free Mobile Accident Insurance in Ghana

Airtel Ghana, a subsidiary of Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel; MicroEnsure, a UK-based microinsurance company founded by US-based Opportunity International; and Enterprise Life, an insurance company that is part of Ghana-based Enterprise Group, recently announced that 100,000 Airtel Ghana customers have registered for Airtel Insurance. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to Loan $69m to UniCredit Bank Serbia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral institution, recently announced that it is considering loaning EUR 50 million (USD 69 million) to UniCredit Bank Serbia, a subsidiary of Italy-based financial services company UniCredit Group. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Thai Office of Insurance Commission Promotes Microinsurance, Introduces $6 Life Product

The Office of Insurance Commission (OIC), a government agency that regulates and supervises the insurance industry of Thailand, has started a drive to promote microinsurance in the country and announced that it will launch a life insurance policy aimed at poor people [1]. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Mobile Money and Digital Payments Africa Conference and Workshop, May 20-22, 2014, Johannesburg, South Africa

Event Name: Mobile Money and Digital Payments Africa

Event Date: May 20-22, 2014

Event Location: Hyatt Regency Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Mobile Money Agents in Uganda; Sustainable Microfinance; Mobile Money for the Global Unbanked

“Agent Network Accelerator Survey: Uganda Country Report 2013;” published by Helix Institute of Digital Finance; January 2014; 26 pages; available at http://www.helix-institute.com/data-and-insights/agent-network-accelerator-survey-%E2%80%93-uganda-country-report-2013-0

This document presents the results of a study conducted by the US-based nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and India-based for-profit consultancy MicroSave that seeks to identify the challenges, trends and successes of the mobile money market in Uganda by surveying 2,000 agents. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Dingyi Venture Capital of China Grants $3m to International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Fund Assessment of Financial Services Available to Microenterprises in Rural China, Other Initiatives

Dingyi Venture Capital of China has awarded a grant of USD 3 million to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private investment arm of the World Bank Group, to fund various initiatives in rural China including an assessment of existing financial services available to microenterprises. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Jamaica Microfinancing Association (JamFA) Executive Director Raymond Gabbidon Says “Loan Shark” Accusation is “Unfair”

According to statements attributed to Mr Raymond Gabbidon, Executive Director of the eleven-member Jamaica Microfinancing Association (JamFA), the recent characterization [1] of the country’s microfinance sector as being afflicted by “loan sharks” by former Commerce Secretary Dr Chris Tufton is “unfair.” Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mutual-Aid Credit Cooperative for Private Farmers of Bulgaria Among Finalists for $69k 6th Giordano Dell’Amore Microfinance Good Practices Europe Awards

Fondazione Giordano Dell’Amore, an Italian foundation that supports microfinance, in partnership with the European Microfinance Network (EMN), a Belgium-based nonprofit organization, recently announced three finalists for the Sixth Annual Giordano Dell’Amore Microfinance Good Practices Europe Award, a series that recognizes initiatives that promote financial inclusion as a tool for development.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Saving for Change Reaches 85k Members in Cambodia, 680k Worldwide

Saving for Change (SfC), a saving-group initiative that was established in 2005 by nonprofit organizations Oxfam America, Freedom from Hunger and the Stromme Foundation, has grown to serve approximately 85,000 women in Cambodia as of March 2014 since its launch in that country in 2011. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Luxembourg Fund Labeling Agency (LuxFLAG) Provides Environmental Label to Parvest Green Tigers Fund; Microfinance Label to EU Microfinance Platform, Symbiotics (SICAV) SEB Microfinance Fund

The Luxembourg Fund Labeling Agency (LuxFLAG), a nonprofit organization that certifies the operations of investment vehicles that promote microfinance and environmental initiatives, has approved an environmental label for Parvest Green Tiger Fund, an environmental investment vehicle (EIV) domiciled in Luxembourg, and microfinance labels for the EU Microfinance Platform Fund and Symbiotics (SICAV) SEB (Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken) Microfinance Fund, both microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs). Continue reading

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