MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: JazzCash Mobile Money Users in Pakistan to Gain Access to Merchants Accepting Visa Cards

JazzCash, a mobile money service of Pakistan-based cellular phone network Mobilink, and Visa, a US-based payment technology company, recently announced that JazzCash Mobile Account customers will be able to make purchases from the millions of merchants worldwide that accept Visa payment cards, including approximately 50,000 retail outlets in Pakistan.

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).

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFMR Investment Managers Raising Third Debt Fund, IFMR FImpact Medium Term Microfinance Fund

The Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) Investment Managers, a unit of India-based IFMR Trust Group providing investment management services in asset classes that impact the financially excluded, is seeking to raise INR 1 billion (USD 15 million) for a debt fund called IFMR FImpact Medium Term Microfinance Fund to invest exclusively in microfinance firms.

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: VisionFund International Buying Majority Equity Stake in Opportunity’s Microfinance Institution in Democratic Republic of Congo

Pending regulatory approval, VisionFund International, a US-based affiliate of the Christian humanitarian organization World Vision International, recently agreed to purchase a majority stake in Opportunity International’s (OI’s) microfinance institution (MFI) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Mobile Money in Africa; Doing Business in Kyrgyzstan; Digitalization of Kenya’s Premier Credit

“Mobile Money Momentum in Four African Countries;” published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); December 2015; 101 pages; available at: http://www.cgap.org/news/new-data-cgap-sets-benchmark-use-mobile-financial-services

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Afluenta Raises $8m in Series B Equity Funding from International Finance Corporation, Elevar for Peer-to-Peer Lending in Latin America

Afluenta, an Argentina-based peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform, recently announced it closed a series B funding round totaling USD 8 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that aims to increase economic growth in developing countries, and Elevar Equity, a “development-focused” private equity fund based in India.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: 4th Africa Financial Services Investment Conference (AFSIC); May 4-6, 2016; London, United Kingdom

Event Name: 4th Africa Financial Services Investment Conference (AFSIC)

Event Dates: May 4-6, 2016

Event Location: The Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel; London, United Kingdom

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) to Distribute Funds from Government-Backed Kredit Usaha Rakyat (KUR) Microloan Program via Rural Banking Members of Perbarindo

Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), a state-owned bank in Indonesia, recently signed an agreement with Perbarindo, an Indonesian association of rural banks, to support the government-backed microloan program Kredit Usaha Rakyat (KUR) channeling “subsidized loans” to micro- small and medium-sized enterprises.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to Invest up to $200m in Equity in LeapFrog Investments

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a development finance institution backed by the US government, recently committed to investing up to USD 200 million in equity in Leapfrog Investments, a for-profit private equity fund based in Mauritius.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Prudential Financial to Invest $350m in African Insurers, To Be Managed by LeapFrog

Prudential Financial Incorporated, a US-based financial services company, recently announced an investment of USD 350 million in life insurance companies in African countries such as Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Financing Necessary for SMEs to Grow; Microfinance Challenges in the Arab World; Incofin on MFIs’ Social Performance

“ADB Report: Asia SME Finance Monitor 2014;” by S. Shinozaki, T. Chaiken, S. Jain, K. Dorofev, C. T. Delos Santos and J. Bautista; published by the Asian Development Bank (ADB); September 2015; 318 pages; available at: http://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/173205/asia-sme-finance-monitor2014.pdf

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO Completes $153m Syndicated Loan to Sri Lanka’s Commercial Leasing & Finance (CLC)

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch development bank, recently served as lead arranger and facility agent to finalize a USD 153 million senior secured syndicated loan for Sri Lanka’s Commercial Leasing & Finance (CLC).

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: African Development Bank (AfDB), MasterCard Collaborate on Financial Inclusion in Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB), a multilateral institution providing loans and grants to governments and private companies on the continent; and MasterCard, a US-based payments and technology company, recently announced that they are launching a collaboration aimed at increasing financial inclusion in Africa.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP) Allows Micro-Banking Offices (MBOs) to Approve New Deposit Accounts

Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, recently authorized micro-banking offices (MBOs) of financial institutions to extend the range of “allowable activities” [1] with the aim of increasing financial inclusion in the rural parts of the country.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Network FINCA International Appoints Andree Simon as Co-CEO

The Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA International), a US-based nonprofit with microfinance operations in 23 countries, recently announced the promotion of Andrée Simon to the position of co-CEO of FINCA Microfinance Holding LLC (MFH), FINCA’s International’s network of microfinance subsidiaries.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Symbiotics Issues $22m in Bonds to Benefit Indian Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Annapurna, ESAF Microfinance and Investment (EMFIL), Satin Creditcare

Symbiotics, a Switzerland-based investment company that focuses on emerging markets, recently informed MicroCapital that it has completed bond transactions with a total value of USD 22 million.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Symbiotics Completes Bond Disbursements Totaling $5.5m to Microfinance Institution Prasac of Cambodia

Symbiotics Group, a Swiss for-profit provider of investment and business services, recently issued the second tranche of a bond totaling USD 5.5 million to Prasac, a Cambodian microfinance institution (MFI).