MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Solomon Islands’ Government Sets Goal of 80% Electronic Payments by 2020

The government of the Solomon Islands recently announced it will attempt to shift to using “electronic payment channels for [80 percent of its] payments and receipts” by 2020. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC Loans $17m to Romania’s Agricover for Lending to Small, Medium-sized Agricultural Businesses

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently announced it will loan RON 70 million (USD 17 million) to Agricover Credit, a non-banking financial institution in Romania, to boost the financial inclusion of farmers as well as small and medium-sized agribusinesses in Romania. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Uzbekistan Borrows $500m from ADB to Build 29k Rural Housing Units Mortgaged by Ipoteka Bank, National Bank of Uzbekistan, Qishloq Qurilish Bank

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), a Philippines-based multilateral institution, recently announced it will issue a loan of USD 500 million as part of an effort to build 29,000 new “affordable” houses in rural parts of nine regions of Uzbekistan. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC, FMO, SBI-FMO Invest $22m in Equity in Sri Lanka’s Sanasa Development Bank

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group; the government-backed Netherlands Development Finance Company (which is also known by its Dutch acronym FMO); and Singapore-based SBI FMO Emerging Asia Financial Sector Fund recently placed equity investments totaling USD 22 million in Sri Lankan-based Sanasa Development Bank (SDB Bank). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFAD, Cambodian Government, Private Sector Investing $60m in Microfinance, Infrastructure Program to Help 15k Farming Families Expand Operations

The government of Cambodia recently announced it has commenced the first phase of a project intended to aid 15,000 small-scale farming families in growing their operations by “building infrastructure to help farmers, and offering special microfinance deals.” Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Solomon Islands’ National Provident Fund Launches youSave Retirement Savings Plan for Self-employed With Support from UN’s PFIP

The National Provident Fund, a government-backed retirement trust in the Solomon Islands, recently launched youSave, a savings plan designed to help self-employed islanders establish and contribute to retirement accounts as do “formally employed” citizens. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to Invest $1.5b in Infrastructure, Microfinance, SMEs in Bangladesh, India Over 5 Years

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of US-based World Bank Group, recently agreed to launch a multifaceted project in Bangladesh and India in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), a development institution of the Japanese government. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Women Leverage Microfinance to Create Agribusinesses in Fushun, China

From 2010 through 2017, the city of Fushun, in northeastern China, invested CNY 2.8 billion (USD 406 million) in a subsidized microcredit program for agriculture, reaching 57,000 female entrepreneurs, primarily those whose husbands live elsewhere for work. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFU, Finnfund, Danish Family Office Invest $8m in BOPA for Asian Microfinance

Base of Pyramid Asia (BOPA), a microfinance investment company in Singapore, recently informed MicroCapital that it has raised a total of USD 8 million in equity funding from the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), which is owned by the Danish government; the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation (Finnfund), which is backed by the Finnish government; and a Danish family office. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: The MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion, $150k “Clients at the Centre” Prize; November 8-9, 2017; Accra, Ghana

Event Name: The MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion

Event Date: November 8 – November 9, 2017

Event Location: Accra, Ghana

Cost: This event is open by invitation only

Summary of Event: The symposium will focus on increasing the knowledge of financial service providers regarding the financial lives of poor people in an effort to enable the providers to design and deliver products that are more closely aligned with people’s needs. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EIB Group’s DCFTA Initiative East, InnovFin Supporting SMEs in Georgia, Moldova, the Ukraine; ProCredit Secures $56m Partial Loan Guarantee

Both arms of the EU-affiliated EIB Group, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), are implementing two programs intended to fortify the private sectors of Georgia, Moldova and the Ukraine [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Water.org Launches WaterCredit Investment Fund 3 to Facilitate Access to Sanitation, Clean Water in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines

WaterEquity, the “social impact investment” subsidiary of US-based NGO Water.org, recently launched the WaterCredit Investment Fund 3 with the goal of raising USD 50 million to “invest in enterprises serving water and sanitation needs among the world’s poor.” Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FINCA Armenia Completes $7m Dual-currency Bond Issue

FINCA Armenia, a microfinance institution based in Yerevan, recently issued bonds worth USD 4 million and AMD 1.5 billion (USD 3 million) listed on the NASDAQ OMX Armenia stock exchange. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Hedge Fund Route One Buys 0.88% Equity Stake in India’s Bharat Financial Inclusion for $15m

US-based Route One Fund I LP recently spent approximately INR 990 million (USD 15.4 million) to purchase 0.88 percent of the shares of Bharat Financial Inclusion, a for-profit non-banking microfinance institution (MFI) in India, via an open market transaction. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sri Lankans Urge Government to Allow Microfinance Institutions to Offer Microinsurance, Access Credit Information Bureau

M M Attanayake, the president of the 71-member Lanka Microfinance Practitioners’ Association (LMFPA), recently urged policymakers to amend existing law to allow microfinance institutions (MFIs) to offer microinsurance. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: AgroCenta of Ghana Wins $20k Fincluders Startup Challenge for Online Agricultural Marketplace

Ghana-based AgroCenta recently won USD 20,000 in the Fincluders Startup Challenge, which was created to support new companies seeking to increase financial inclusion. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE BRIEF: Ford Foundation to Invest $1b Over 10 Years in Mission-related Investments Such as Financial Services in Developing Countries, Affordable Housing in the US

The US-based Ford Foundation recently announced plans to disburse USD 1 billion in “mission-related investments” with initial foci on access to financial services in developing countries and affordable housing in the US. Continue reading

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