Event Name: Services for the Poor: Lessons and Implications of the Latest Research on Credit
Event Date: February 27, 2015
Event Location: Preston Auditorium, World Bank Headquarters, Washington DC
Cost: The event is free of charge, however advance registration is necessary.
Summary of Event: This conference will present the findings from randomized evaluations that evaluate the impacts of microfinance in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Mongolia and Morocco. Attendees also will explore tools intended to increase the outreach and impact of financial services for low-income people.
Etisalat, a United Arab Emirates-based telecommunications services provider, and First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), a commercial bank based in the Nigerian state of Lagos, recently fused FBN’s “Firstmonie Mobile Money,” a service that allows customers to access their FirstBank accounts as well as transfer funds through their mobile devices , and Etisalat’s “Easywallet,” a service allowing money transfers, airtime top-up, and payment for goods and services via mobile phones .
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that offers financial services to businesses and governments in developing countries with the aim of increasing economic growth, recently raised its stake in Bandhan Financial Services, an India-based microfinance institution (MFI) that offers loans for health emergencies and microenterprise, with an investment of INR 5.8 billion (USD 94.4 million).
The Sanad Fund for MSME (micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises), a Germany-based fund providing loans in the Middle East and North Africa, recently provided a senior loan of USD 20 million to Amen Bank, a Tunisia-based private commercial bank.
Arun Jaitley, the Indian Finance Minister, reportedly announced that the government has completed Phase I of the Jan-Dhan initiative, a scheme created by Prime Minister Modi to give all Indians access to banking services, including credit, savings, insurance, direct benefits transfer and electronic payments.
Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES), the Brazilian government’s development bank, reportedly has announced that it will loan USD 100 million to Banco do Nordeste do Brasil (BNB), a public bank operating in Brazil’s Northeastern Region.
The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has issued the following two loans: (1) EUR 825,000 (USD 936,000) to Microfund for Women, a microfinance institution (MFI) in Jordan that was founded in 1994 as a program of UK-based NGO Save the Children; and (2) EUR 1.5 million (USD 1.6 million) to Joint Stock Company Microfinance Organization Crystal (JSC MFO Crystal), an MFI that was established in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 1998 as the Crystal Fund.
Event Name: Social Investor Working Group Meeting
Event Date: March 11 – March 12, 2015
Event Location: European Investment Bank (EIB) Headquarters, Luxembourg.
Cost: The event is free of charge, however the proceedings on March 11 are only open to task force members. The sessions on March 12 are open to all investors.
Summary of Event: Conference attendees will discuss topics such as managing social risks; the “Universal Standards for Social Performance Management”; and the fourth iteration of the social performance indicators (SPI4), which have been developed by France-based network Cerise (Comité d’Echanges de Réflexion et d’Information sur les Systèmes d’Epargne-crédit).
Triodos Investment Management, a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Triodos Bank, recently disbursed loans of undisclosed amounts to Annapurna Microfinance, an Indian microfinance institution (MFI); Asociacion Fondo de Desarrollo (FDL), an MFI in Nicaragua; Crezcamos, a Columbian MFI; Hamkorbank, a commercial bank in Uzbekistan; Intean Poalroath Rongroeurng (IPR), an MFI in Cambodia; Intellegrow, a nonbanking financial company (NBFC) serving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in India; and Vitas Jordan, an Amman-based MFI .
Manappuram Finance, an India-based non-banking finance company, recently acquired 70 percent of the shares of Asirvad Microfinance, a microfinance company based in India that provides enterprise loans, for INR 136 crores (USD 21.4 million). Manappuram will acquire the shareholding via a combination of purchasing shares from existing shareholders and subscribing to new equity shares of Asirvad.
The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has issued the following two loans: (1) EUR 1.5 million (USD 1.6 million) to Hattha Kaksekar Limited (HKL), an MFI based in Cambodia that was founded in 1994 by Organisation Canadienne pour la Solidarite et le Developpement (OCSD) and Oxfam International; and (2) EUR 1.1 million (USD 1.2 million) to VisionFund Lanka, a unit of US-based VisionFund, which offers financial services to families living in poverty in the developing world through a network of MFIs in 36 countries.
The Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has issued the following three loans: (1) EUR 630,000 (USD 732,000) over a two-year period to Oxus DRC, a for-profit MFI based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that was launched in 2013 by the France-based Oxus Group; (2) EUR 271,000 (USD 314,000) over a three-year period to Hekima, a nonprofit specialising in providing group loans to “economically active” poor people in eastern DRC; and (3) EUR 198,000 (USD 230,000) over a three-year period to Agence Communautaire pour le Financement de la Micro Entreprise (ACFIME), a microfinance institution serving low-income populations in Burkina Faso .
The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV), recently announced that it is loaning EUR 10 million (USD 11.6 million) to UniCredit Bank Serbia, a subsidiary of Italy-based financial services company UniCredit Group, for on-lending for housing purchases and home improvement projects.
The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV), recently extended loans to Garanti Leasing (GL), a leasing subsidiary of Turkey’s Garanti Bank (GB), and Banca Intesa Beograd (BIB), a commercial bank in Serbia that is part of Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo.
The Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has issued the following three loans in local currency equivalent to: (1) EUR 482,000 (USD 555,000) over a two-year period to Juhudi Kilimo, a for-profit provider of microloans and microinsurance in Kenya; (2) EUR 293,000 (USD 339,000) over a three-year period to Uganda Microcredit Foundation (UMF), a microfinance institution offering financial services to “economically active” Ugandans; and (3) EUR 257,000 (USD 297,000) over a three-year period to Encot, a provider of microloans to rural enterprises in Uganda .
Muthoot Finance, an Indian non-banking finance company (NBFC) that offers money transfers and loans using gold items as collateral, recently partnered with Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), a US-based banking and payment technology provider, to introduce Muthoot-branded automated teller machines (ATMs) in rural areas of India.
Swaziland’s Ministry of Finance reportedly will launch a program to protect Swazi consumers from over-indebtedness by making consumer credit information available to all credit providers in the country, including development finance institutions, microlenders, savings cooperatives and retailers . Another aim of the effort is to lower the cost of credit to support a government effort to increase financial inclusion in the country from 50 percent in 2011 to 75 percent by 2022 . The principal secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Bheki Bhembe, reportedly said that “The project aims to strengthen credit information flow in Swaziland. By so doing, the project aims to increase access to affordable credit among the under-served market segments.”
The Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), a development finance institution owned by the UK government, has announced that it has made an equity investment of USD 11 million in Utkarsh, a northern Indian microfinance institution (MFI) .