MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Caspian Advisors Launches $40m Caspian Impact Investments (CII) Fund for Microfinance, Affordable Housing, Agriculture

Caspian Advisors Private Ltd., an Indian investment management and advisory services company specializing in the socially-responsible arena, recently launched the Caspian Impact Investments (CII) fund, which is targeted to raise USD 40 million for projects in the areas of microfinance, small business financing, affordable housing and agriculture. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Alliance for Financial Inclusion Launches African Mobile Phone Financial Services Policy Initiative (AMPI)

The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), a Thailand-based network of financial policymakers from approximately 85 countries, recently launched the African Mobile Phone Financial Services Policy Initiative (AMPI), which will aim to address barriers to the “uptake of mobile financial services” in Africa. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Why People Do Not Buy Microinsurance and What Can We Do About It;” by Michal Matul, Aparna Dalal, Ombeline De Bock and Wouler Gelade; published by Microinsurance Innovation Facility

By Michal Matul, Aparna Dalal, Ombeline De Bock and Wouler Gelade, published by Microinsurance Innovation Facility, February 2013, 31 pages, available at: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/employment/mifacility/download/mpaper20_buy.pdf

This paper published by the Microinsurance Innovation Facility, a Switzerland-based initiative of the UN’s International Labour Organization, examines the “determinants of demand” for microinsurance products in the developing world and looks at why, despite its potential to mitigate risk, the demand for microinsurance is low. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Rockefeller, Tony Elumelu Foundations Launch “Impact Economy Innovations Fund” for Africa

The Rockefeller Foundation, a US-based organization, and the Tony Elumelu Foundation, a Nigeria-based organization, recently announced the launch of the Impact Economy Innovations Fund (IEIF), an impact investment fund operating across Africa. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: African Guarantee Fund (AGF) Guarantees $3.5m in Loans from Commercial Bank of Africa, Investments & Mortgages Limited to SMEs in East Africa

The African Guarantee Fund (AGF), a Kenya-based organization that aims to increase financial access by underwriting commercial bank lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa, recently reached an agreement with Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), a bank based in Kenya, for a KES 200 million (USD 2.3 million) guarantee and with Kenya-based bank Investments & Mortgages Limited (I&M Bank) for a guarantee of KES 100 million (USD 1.2 million) to support the banks’ on-lending to SMEs. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Loans $197m to Turkey’s Isbank to Support Small, Medium-sized Enterprises, $350m to Turkish Banks for Energy Efficiency

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), an international finance institution headquartered in London, plans to provide a financing facility of EUR 150 million (USD 197 million) to Isbank, a Turkish commercial bank. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tameer Microfinance, Pakistan Mercantile Exchange to Offer Gold-based Investment Product

Tameer Microfinance Bank Limited (TMFB), a Pakistani organization majority-held by Norwegian telecom Telenor, and Pakistan Mercantile Exchange Limited (PMEX), a Pakistani commodity exchange company owned by six stock exchanges and banks affiliated with the Pakistani government, recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to offer a gold-based investment product. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian State of Andhra Pradesh, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to Implement Mobile Money Service via Post Offices

According to a statement attributed to Killi Kruparani, India’s minister of state for communications and information technology, a mobile money order service will be available at post offices in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh beginning in October 2013.  Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Social Performance in Nepal, Sharia-Compliant Financial Inclusion, Private Sector Employment

“State of Social Performance in Nepal;” by Mike Krell; published by Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX); March 2013; 10 pages; available at http://www.themix.org/publications/mix-microfinance-world/2013/03/Nepal-development-2013

This report from the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) examines the social performance (SP) of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Nepal. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CGAP, Grameen Foundation, Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) Uganda to Finance $1m Mobile Finance Product Research and Development Initiative

CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based nonprofit research and policy center, the Grameen Foundation, a US-based nonprofit that seeks to increase business opportunities and telecommunication services for poor people in rural areas, and Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) Uganda, the Ugandan arm of South African telecommunications company MTN Group, recently announced plans to launch an initiative to research and develop new mobile financial products. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation to Bailout Microfinance Institutions, Primary Mortgage Banks

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), a quasi-independent agency of the federal government that insures deposit-taking financial institutions, recently announced that it will grant an undisclosed amount of financial assistance to distressed microfinance banks (MFBs) and primary mortgage banks (PMBs) recently closed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: China Microfinance Institution Association (CMIA) to Introduce Credit Rating System for Microfinance Institutions As Early As July 2013

The China Microfinance Institution Association (CMIA), an organization that advocates for the interests of 92 domestic member microfinance institutions (MFIs) covering 27 provinces, plans to introduce a credit rating system to evaluate MFIs as early as July.

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Investors Commit $73m to as Yet Unapproved Government-backed India Inclusive Innovation Fund, Target Size is $918m

Undisclosed investors have reportedly committed approximately INR 4 billion (USD 73.4 million) to the India Inclusive Innovation Fund, a government-sponsored fund intended to provide capital to early-stage ventures serving low-income clients. Continue reading