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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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Silatech, PlaNet Finance to Support Youth Entrepreneurship in Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine

Silatech, a Qatar-based social enterprise that serves young people in the Middle East and North Africa, has signed on to support the Youth Entrepreneurship Project (YEP), an initiative founded by French non-governmental organization (NGO) PlaNet Finance and funded by the European Union that seeks to empower young people by supporting three microfinance institutions (MFIs): Alexandria Businessmen’s Association of Egypt, Lebanese Association for Development (Al Majmoua) and Palestine’s Arab Center for Agricultural Development (ACAD). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Orange, Banco Popular Dominicano Launch M-Peso Mobile Payment Service in the Dominican Republic

Orange Dominicana, subsidiary of Orange of France that offers prepaid mobile services in the Dominican Republic, and Banco Popular Dominicano, a commercial bank in the Dominican Republic, reportedly have launched the M-Peso mobile wallet and payment service in the Dominican Republic.  Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Gives Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) 6 Years to Plan for Higher Capitalization Requirements

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the country’s central bank, has issued new capitalization requirements for money-lending bodies that will become effective in December 2020, increasing the minimum capital required to USD 10 million for deposit-taking microfinance institutions (MFIs) and USD 50,000 for credit-only MFIs. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Crowdfunders Kiva, Vittana Partner to Extend Student Loans for Higher Education in Developing World

US-based nonprofit crowdfunders Kiva Microfunds, which raises money for microfinance institutions (MFIs) to on-lend for various purposes, and Vittana, which raises funds for MFIs to on-lend for higher education, have formed a partnership to post Vittana’s student loan fundraising requests on Kiva’s website starting on March 31, 2014. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria Announces Closure of 83 Microfinance Banks (MFBs), Denies Shutdown of Additional 600 MFBs

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s central banking authority, has rescinded the licenses of 83 microfinance banks (MFBs) in the country [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Safaricom, Britam, Changmka Microinsurance to Offer Mobile Health Insurance in Kenya

Safaricom, a telecommunications provider in Kenya, reportedly has announced that it will be partnering with Britam, a Kenya-based investment firm, and Changmka Microinsurance, a Kenyan health insurance provider to offer new health microinsurance services in Kenya. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Supervisory Committee of Myanmar Caps Microloans at $509, Interest Rates at 2.5% per Month

The Microfinance Supervisory Committee (MSC), the microfinance regulatory body in Myanmar, reportedly set a limit of MMK 500,000 (USD 509) for loans issued by microfinance institutions (MFIs). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bandhan of India Borrows $26m From International Finance Corporation (IFC), Seeks $16m From Swiss Investor

Bandhan Financial Services, an India-based microfinance institution (MFI) that offers loans for health emergencies and microenterprise, reportedly has raised INR 1.6 billion (USD 26 million) in debt financing from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the US-based World Bank Group’s private investment arm, and is seeking to raise another INR 1 billion (USD 16 million) from an unnamed Swiss multinational investor. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Acleda Bank Plans to Open 12 New Branches in Myanmar, 4 in Laos

Alceda Bank, a microfinance bank based in Cambodia, reportedly plans to expand its operations in Myanmar and in Laos. By the end of 2014, it intends to increase its network of branches from six to 18 in Myanmar and from 41 to 45 branches in Laos. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Microfinance Centre to Host 17th MFC Annual Conference, May 27 – 28, 2014, Istanbul, Turkey

Event Name: 17th Microfinance Centre (MFC) Annual Conference

Event Date: May 27 – 28, 2014

Event Location: Wow Istanbul Hotel and Convention Centre, Istanbul, Turkey Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Trade Union “Mobile Money Transfer Agents Association of Zimbabwe” Formed

The Mobile Money Transfer Agents Association of Zimbabwe (MMTAAZ), a trade union representing third-party handlers of retail e-money transactions, reportedly has been formed by co-directors Francis Chinjekure and Thomas Muserepwa to address the concerns of contractors to Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of South Africa-based telecommunications provider Econet Wireless Group; Telecel Zimbabwe, a joint venture of Egypt-based telecommunications provider Global Telecom Holding and Zimbabwean business consortium Empowerment Corporation; and NetOne, a mobile services provider owned by the government of Zimbabwe. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Commercial Credit and Finance of Sri Lanka Raises $12m by Selling 25% Equity Stake to Creation Investments

Commercial Credit and Finance (CCF), a Sri Lanka-based financial company, recently reached an agreement with Creation Investments Social Ventures Fund II, a private equity fund managed by US-based Creation Investments Capital Management, to raise LKR 1.68 billion (USD 12.4 million) in equity funding through an issue of 80 million new shares. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) Loans $20m to ProCredit Bank Serbia for Small, Medium-sized Enterprises

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV), has disbursed a loan of EUR 15 million (USD 20.4 million) to ProCredit Bank Serbia, a financial institution that focuses on lending to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and is majority-owned by Germany-based ProCredit Holding. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Philippine Government Launches $20m Facility to Offer Microloans Up To $7k for Farmers, Fishermen

The government of the Philippines has instituted a credit facility of USD 20 million intended to provide microloans to “small-scale” farmers and fishermen [1]. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Inclusix Index of Financial Inclusion in India; Obstacles to Access in Microinsurance; Microfinance in Kenya

“CRISIL Inclusix: An index to measure India’s progress on Financial Inclusion;” published by Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL); June 2013; 101 pages; available at http://crisil.com/pdf/corporate/CRISIL-Inclusix.pdf

Based on data from 2009 through 2011, this report gives an overview of the findings of the CRISIL Inclusix index, an analytical tool designed by Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL) to measure progress in financial inclusion in India at the national, regional, state and district levels. Continue reading