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: CGAP, Citi Foundation Launch Digital Financial Inclusion Policy Program in China, Indonesia, Philippines

CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based, nonprofit research center that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access, and the Citi Foundation, the charitable arm of US-based financial services firm Citigroup, recently launched the “East Asia Digital Financial Inclusion Program”.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institutions in Pakistan to be Registered as Non-Banking Financial Companies, Regulated by Securities and Exchange Commission

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) recently announced plans to bring all non-deposit taking microfinance institutions (MFIs) and related nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) under the non-banking finance company (NBFC) framework in an effort to improve the regulation and monitoring of their activities.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Australian Government, ANZ Bank, PFIP to Connect Solomon Islands’ Coconut Farmers to Mobile Banking

The Australian government; the Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) Bank, a publicly traded commercial bank; and the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP), a Fiji-based initiative of the United Nations that attempts to extend financial services to unbanked Pacific Islanders, recently started a program with a budget of SBD 5 million (USD 650,000) to connect rural coconut oil producers, laborers, buyers and transport operators in the Solomon Islands with digital financial services.

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.”

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: 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: Telenor Pakistan Acquires Additional 49% Equity Stake in Tameer Microfinance Bank, Bringing Its Ownership to 100%

Telenor Pakistan, a subsidiary of Norway-based telecom provider Telenor Group, recently bought additional shares of the Tameer Microfinance Bank, a Pakistan-based provider of microfinance services, increasing its stake from 51 percent to 100 percent.

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: 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).

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Trends in International Funding for Financial Inclusion; Inclusive Finance in India; Financial Regulation for Inclusion and Development in Latin America

“Current Trends in International Funding for Financial Inclusion;” by M. Soursourian, E. Dashi and E. Dokle; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); December 2015; 4 pages; available at: http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/Brief-Current-Trends-in-International-Funding-Dec-2015.pdf

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: 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).

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) Donates $4.5m to World Vision Myanmar for Microfinance Lending, Savings

The Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund, a Myanmar-based multi-donor trust fund, recently has donated a three-year USD 4.5 million grant to three organizations affiliated with US-based NGO World Vision, to aid approximately 100,000 people in gaining improved access to financial services.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s SKS Microfinance Seeks to Go Paperless with IBM MobileFirst Tablet System

SKS Microfinance Limited, a for-profit microfinance institution (MFI) headquartered in Hyderabad, India, recently partnered with IBM MobileFirst, the mobile division of US-based information technology company International Business Machines (IBM), in an effort to improve staff productivity in acquiring customers, completing loan disbursements and collecting repayments [1][2].