MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microcred Starts Microfinance Operations in Burkina Faso

The Microcred Group, a for-profit microfinance company operating under the umbrella of French NGO Positive Planet, recently started the operations of its new subsidiary in Ouagadougou. During the first 20 days, customers opened 1,260 accounts, mobilizing CFA 40 million (USD 68,000) in deposits.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Arman Financial Services Decreases Interest Rates on Two-wheel Vehicle, Microfinance Loans

Arman Financial Services Limited, a non-banking finance company based in the Indian state of Gujarat, recently announced it is reducing interest rates on its two-wheel vehicle and microfinance loans.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s RBL Bank Acquires 10% Equity Stake in Utkarsh Micro Finance

RBL Bank Limited, an institution formerly known as Ratnakar Bank Limited (RBL) that is headquartered in the Indian state of Maharashtra, recently announced its plan to buy a 9.99-percent stake in Utkarsh Micro Finance, a non-banking financial institution based in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangladeshi Farmers to Receive Microloans via Credit Cards Arranged by CARE Bangladesh, DAM, mPower, USAID

The Agricultural Extension Support Activity (AESA) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is implemented by the Bangladesh-based nonprofit Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM), is piloting an initiative to provide smallholder farmers with loans via bank cards.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Kotak Mahindra Bank Buying BSS Microfinance for $21m

Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB), a private-sector Indian bank, recently announced plans to acquire BSS Microfinance, a Karnataka-based non-banking financial company run by the Bharatha Swamukthi Samsthe (BSS) Trust, for INR 1.4 billion (USD 21 million)

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: ResponsAbility to Loan Additional $3m to Bolivian Microfinance Institution Diaconia FRIF

ResponsAbility, a Switzerland-based asset management firm specializing in development investments, recently informed MicroCapital that it is lending an additional USD 3 million to Diaconia Fondo Rotativo de Inversion y Fomento (FRIF), a non-banking financial institution based in Bolivia.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Nandan Nilekani, Ratan Tata, Vijay Kelkar, R.Venkataramanan Announce the Start of New Microfinance Company, Avanti Finance

Nandan Nilekani, Co-founder of Infosys Limited; Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons; Vijay Kelkar, Chairman of India’s National Institute of Public Finance and Policy; and R. Venkataramanan, Managing Trustee of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, recently announced the launch of Avanti Finance, “a technology enabled financial inclusion vehicle.”

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Innovations in Building Financial Capability; BBVA Microfinance Foundation Social Performance Report; Growth, Evolving Trends in Financial Inclusion in India

“A Change in Behavior: Innovations in Financial Capability”; published by the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion; April 2016; 47 pages; available at http://www.centerforfinancialinclusion.org/fi2020/roadmap-to-inclusion/innovations-in-financial-capability

This document describes research aimed at identifying effective interventions for building the financial capability of microfinance customers, specifically as administered by three groups: financial service providers, governments and social service providers.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Loaning up to $2m to Arvand of Tajikistan for On-lending to Micro- and Small Enterprises (MSEs)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral institution, recently agreed to provide loan funds of up to TJS 15.7 million (USD 2 million) to Arvand, a Tajikistan-based microfinance institution (MFI), for on-lending to local micro- and small enterprises (MSEs).

MICROFINANCE PAPER ROUND-UP: Managing Risks for Smallholders in Africa, Financing Shortfall for Women-owned Enterprises in Indonesia, Perspectives of Banks in Emerging Countries on Financial Inclusion

“Finance for Smallholders: Opportunities for Risk Management by Linking Financial Institutions and Producer Organisations;” by J de la Rive Box et al; published by the Food & Business Knowledge Platform, Agri Pro Focus and the Platform for Inclusive Finance NPM; May 2016;  22 pages; available at: http://www.inclusivefinanceplatform.nl/documents/npm%20summary%20report%20finance%20for%20smallholders.pdf

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IDFC Bank Acquires India’s Grama Vidiyal Micro Finance

The Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC) Bank, an Indian for-profit private company providing banking and other financial services, recently acquired Grama Vidiyal Micro Finance, a microfinance institution (MFI) headquartered in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, increasing its rural and semi-urban customer base by 1.2 million.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tanzania’s National Microfinance Bank Lists $18m in Bonds on Dar Es Salaam Stock Exchange

The National Microfinance Bank (NMB), an institution backed by the government of Tanzania, recently announced that it has listed TZS 41.4 billion (USD 18.8 million) in three-year retail bonds on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE), the listing surpassed its initial retail bond target by 107 percent.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Suryoday Microfinance Raises $15m in Equity as Aavishkaar Goodwell Exits

Suryoday Micro Finance Private Limited , a non-banking finance company providing microfinance services in India, recently raised INR 1 billion (USD 15 million) from investors including the Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC) Bank; ASK Pravi; the Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Standard Life Insurance; Arpwood Investment Advisors; Kiran Vyapar, the investment arm of LN Bangur Group; Polaris Banyan Holding and Dr. Aravind Srinivasan [2].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Developing World Markets Closes Debt Investments Totaling $8.3m in Armenia, Colombia, India, Nicaragua

Developing World Markets (DWM), a US-based asset manager and investment bank, recently announced that it issued loans in February and March 2016 to four unidentified financial institutions serving microentrepreneurs, including a Colombian bank and non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) in Armenia, India and Nicaragua.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Controversy Brews as For-Profit Fintech Provider MyBucks Buys 6 African Microfinance Organizations from Nonprofit Opportunity International

The sale of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda over the first half of 2016 by US-based NGO Opportunity International to Luxembourg-based financial technology company MyBucks has raised concerns both that these MFIs’ clients could be negatively impacted and that these transactions signal that the sector’s overall direction has shifted toward profit-making.