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Apr 2020
e-MFP Endorses Investor MOU on Coordinated COVID-19 Response
April, 30 2020
Global - The MOU - which provides for four tiers of intervention depending on the underlying health of the investee institution - represents a crucial convergence and alignment among key players that together represent 90% of total impact investment in financial inclusion ...
Visa and Kenya’s Safaricom Partner on M-Pesa, Payments and Tech
April, 30 2020
Kenya - As one of the most well-capitalized and profitable companies in Kenya, Safaricom is no startup. But the reach of its M-Pesa network will certainly give Visa an extended presence in Africa. ...
X. Aleman, Chief Business Development Officer, Prometeo: Coronavirus Accelerates Change in Latin America’s Fintech Sector
April, 30 2020
Latin America - Smaller banks are under pressure to digitize, given the current widespread isolation measures. Many of them are turning to fintechs for help and may come out of this crisis with better digital offerings than they had prior ...
EBRD Lending 53.1mln Lei (11mln Euro) to Unicredit Romanian Unit for Energy Efficiency Projects
April, 29 2020
Romania - Funds will be used for on-lending to eligible sub-borrowers for investments in energy and resource efficiency measures in the residential buildings ...
India: SIDBI Extends Loan Repayment Term to 1-Year for NBFCs, MFIs
April, 29 2020
India - Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has extended the repayment period of loans to non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), announced under Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) special liquidity scheme, to one year from the 90-day period earlier ...
Bank of Ghana Says It Is Ready to Tackle the Negative Effects of Coronavirus
April, 28 2020
Ghana - The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has said that although the Banking Sector Report for March 2020 has shown strong financial performance in the first two months of the year, it is ready to tackle the ramifications of the novel coronavirus pandemic ...
FINCA Impact Finance Receives Additional Liquidity from Calvert Impact Capital
April, 28 2020
Global - FINCA Impact Finance (FIF), a network of 20 microfinance institutions and banks, has secured a $15m loan facility from Calvert Impact Capital for a period of five years ...
Why China’s Smaller Businesses Are Struggling to Access Credit
April, 28 2020
China - In the past, risk-averse banks would fund the microfinance lenders instead and they, in turn, would lend money to SMEs, taking on the risk of default. But a combination of policies, from denying official licences to almost all such lenders to a regulation known as Document 141, has put a stop to this ...
E. Hernandez and D. Kim, CGAP and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Agent Networks - Vital to COVID-19 Response, in Need of Support
April, 27 2020
Global - Based on CGAP and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its partners' work to improve the global reach and quality of CICO networks over the past two years, here are a few questions that policy makers must answer to ensure agents reach as many people as possible with assistance during and after the crisis ...
AlphaCredit Closes Equity Financing Round Led by SoftBank Latin America Fund
April, 27 2020
Latin Amercia - AlphaCredit, a leading technology firm that provides financial services to segments underserved by traditional banking institutions, has completed an equity financing round for more than MXN$2.4 billion (approximately US$100 million) ...
FINCA Impact Finance Secures $15 million Revolving Loan Facility from Calvert Impact Capital
April, 27 2020
Global - FINCA Impact Finance (FIF), a network of 20 microfinance institutions and banks, announced today that it has secured a $15 million loan facility with a five-year tenor from Calvert Impact Capital ...
Debt-For-Climate Swaps: Solving Both the Coronavirus Debt Emergency and the Climate Crisis?
April, 27 2020
Global - Debt-for-Climate Swaps could be the elegant solution the world has been waiting for as an exit-strategy from the debt crisis and to transform the post-COVID global economy ...
Chinese Authorities Stress Implementation of Financial Policies for Poverty Relief
April, 27 2020
China - Chinese authorities have stressed the faithful implementation of various financial policies for poverty relief to coordinate efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and carry out targeted financial poverty alleviation ...
Sustainable Funds Resilient Amidst COVID-19 Sell-Off, Study Finds
April, 27 2020
Global - European sustainable funds that implement ESG criteria as part of their key security selection process have been showing signs of resilience throughout the first quarter of this year ...
ADB Okays Loan for 125-MW Battery Storage Project in Mongolia
April, 24 2020
Mongolia - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a USD-100-million (EUR 92.5m) loan to support the installation of 125-MW advanced battery energy storage system in Mongolia ...
India: SIDBI to Provide Liquidity Support to NBFCs, MFIs with 90-Day Term Loans
April, 24 2020
India - The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has designed schemes to provide liquidity support to the MSME sector by extending term loans to non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and microfinance lenders (MFIs) and banks ...
Zimbabwe: RBZ Rescues Financial Institutions
April, 23 2020
Zimbabwe - The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has come up with measures to minimise the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) through credit relief, loan restructuring and microfinance institutions licensing ...
North African Tech Is Closing Big Rounds and the IFC Wants to Keep Raising the Curve
April, 23 2020
MENA - The IFC has announced that, through a new independent private equity fund, it will invest up to $20 million in companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region ...
Pakistan: COVID-19 - SECP Asks Microfinance Institutions to Facilitate Borrowers
April, 22 2020
Pakistan - To facilitate borrowers of non-bank lending companies (NBFCs), the SECP has allowed deferment of repayment of principal and rescheduling of loans, based on borrowers’ requests. ...
India: Priority Sector Relief for Banks under TLTRO 2.0
April, 21 2020
India - The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday provided priority sector relief to banks investing in papers issued by small and medium-sized non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and microfinance institutions (MFIs) under the revised targeted long-term repo operations (TLTRO) 2.0 ...
India: MFIs, Banks Bullish on Fast Recovery of Rural Economy Post Lockdown
April, 21 2020
India - Banks and microfinance players are upbeat about a faster revival in the rural economy with the lifting of the lockdown, even as they say the formal economy could take time to normalise ...
Eastern Europe and Central Asia: IFC Providing 18.5mln Euro to EFSE for On-Lending to MSMEs
April, 21 2020
Eastern Europe and Central Asia - The financing will reach MSMEs through banks and microfinance institutions in 14 European and Central Asian (ECA) countries, the IFC said in a statement ...
IRENA Publishes Global Renewables Outlook
April, 20 2020
Global - The International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) first Global Renewables Outlook has found that advancing the renewables-based energy transformation is an opportunity to meet international climate goals while boosting economic growth, creating millions of jobs and improving human welfare by 2050 ...
Panama: IFC Investment Will Allow Banco General to Support Mortgage Financing and Boost Climate Products
April, 17 2020
Panama - IFC and Banco General reached a new agreement to promote the development of green finance for the private sector in Panama. The $50 million loan, agreed in April 2020 and to be disbursed this year, will be used to finance green buildings and solar energy projects ...
G. Bull, CEO, CGAP: The Best Laid Plans...CGAP's Response to COVID-19
April, 16 2020
Global - We have decided to focus our attention on four main initiatives, all anchored in CGAP’s role as a convener and knowledge resource for the financial inclusion community, its position inside the World Bank, its strong relationships with a large and active community of donors and implementation partners, and its sharp focus on ensuring the poor and the institutions that serve them are not overlooked in the face of a deep and potentially protracted crisis ...
Credit Agricole Secures $54 Million Loan to Support Moroccan Agriculture
April, 16 2020
Morocco - The French Development Agency (AFD) has agreed to give the Moroccan bank Credit Agricole du Maroc (CAM) a MAD 560 million ($54 million) credit line ...
Blackrock Targets Impact Breakthrough with SDGs-Focused Fund
April, 16 2020
Global - The addition of the impact strategy forms part of BlackRock’s continued efforts to expand its sustainable investment platform as it delivers against its commitment to make sustainability its standard for investing ...
World Bank Raises Record-Breaking USD 8 Billion from Global Investors to Support Its Member Countries
April, 16 2020
Global - Extremely strong demand from global investors for the USD benchmark led to the World Bank’s largest orderbook of USD12.5 billion, with almost 190 investor orders, anchored by central banks and bank treasuries. Other investors included other official institutions, asset managers, as well as pension and insurance funds ...
India: Microfinance Body Demands Moratorium Facility, Seeks Help from PM Modi
April, 15 2020
India - Sa-Dhan, in its submission to the Prime Minister, has sought directions to all banks, DFI's (NABARD, SIDBI & MUDRA), and NBFCs that MFIs are eligible to get a back-to-back moratorium for the terms loans ...
G20 Countries Agree Debt Freeze for World's Poorest Countries
April, 15 2020
Global - Finance officials from the Group of 20 major economies agreed on Wednesday to suspend debt service payments for the world’s poorest countries through the end of the year, a move quickly matched by a group of hundreds of private creditors ...
M. Fourn and L. Wellen, Opportuntiy EduFinance TA: How Education Lenders Are Responding to COVID-19
April, 15 2020
Global - A financial institution with a strong risk mitigation plan is best situated to extend the right financial services to school owners and parents. These services can ultimately minimize educational disruption for children as soon as schools are safe to open again ...
Does Impact Investing Always Come at a Price?
April, 14 2020
Global - This first article in a four-part series examines how the definition of impact investment has evolved, how assessing impact-based returns differs from traditional risk-return models and how investment theory doesn't always reconcile with reality ...
D. Rozas, Senior Microfinance Expert, e-MFP: Liquidity Before Solvency - A Guide for Microfinance Investors in the Time of COVID-19
April, 14 2020
Global - The value of financial institutions – especially in microfinance – is tied to their ability to continue operations. If reduced liquidity means cutting staff and winding down operations, it will ensure the very losses that investors are trying to avoid. ...
Tunisian Enda Tamweel Secures $66mln Syndicated Loan for SMEs
April, 14 2020
Tunisia - According to Chairman Mohamed Zmandar, this agreement is a first of its kind in the Tunisian microfinance sector and reflects the interest and confidence in the microfinance institution internationally ...
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN): No Processing Fee for COVID-19 Loan Applications
April, 14 2020
Nigeria - The scheme, which is to be financed out of the CBN’s N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF), earmarked a maximum facility of up to N25 million for MSMEs while households can access up to N3 million based on the activity, cash flow, and industry/segment size of a beneficiary ...
FINCA International Launches Emergency Fund in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
April, 13 2020
Global - The fund will provide emergency relief to low-income communities and bridge support to early-stage social enterprises across FINCA's global footprint ...
IFC Invests $20mln in New Private Equity Fund to Boost MENA Growth
April, 13 2020
MENA - The fund, named SPE AIF I, is managed by SPE Capital Partners and will focus mainly on Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia. The investments are to help small- and mid-cap MENA companies improve their access to institutional capital and boost their growth ...
Sri Lanka: LOLC Concludes Rs. 120B Worth Sale of Cambodian Venture Despite Global Shocks
April, 13 2020
Sri Lanka - This transaction is a significant milestone not only for LOLC but also for Sri Lanka, especially as the nation is facing challenging times. For the LOLC Group, the value that this investment has created portrays its long-term vision and proactive business strategy ...
Cambodia: Low Interest Loans Applauded
April, 10 2020
Cambodia - Commercial banks and microfinance institutions have applauded the government’s initiative to disburse special low-interest loans to specialised banks in a bid to shore up the embattled economy ...
EIB to Provide 700mln Euro Financing to Western Balkans
April, 10 2020
Balkans - The bank will focus its support on the healthcare sector, but it also aims to back small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and strengthen commercial banks, while providing advisory services in the realisation of investments ...
Brazil Undertakes Massive Tech-Enabled Financial Inclusion Exercise with "Coronavoucher"
April, 09 2020
Brazil - Brazil started an emergency aid program aimed at 54 million financially vulnerable citizens, who will be paid 600 reais ($117) monthly until June. This includes millions of previously unbanked citizens, who are being provided with a mobile-based savings account ...
COVID-19 Threatens Decades of Progress on Global Poverty, Report Says
April, 09 2020
Global - The economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to create a “new era” of poverty, putting decades of progress at risk, research from the United Nations University suggests ...
Mobilizing Development Banks to Fight COVID-19
April, 08 2020
Global - Both developed and developing countries urgently need large-scale funding to help maintain economic activity and jobs during the current pandemic. Fortunately, more than 400 development banks around the world can play a vital role in minimizing economic decline, supporting recovery, and financing structural transformation ...
The Big Impact of Ghana’s Microfinance Sector
April, 08 2020
Ghana - The current administration in Ghana has recognised the benefits MFIs bring to the economy and is working to improve the way the sector operates ...
Bangladesh: Unbanked Firms Stand to Miss Out
April, 07 2020
Bangladesh - Often bypassed by banks, the informal sector is unlikely to get much benefit from the government's Tk 727.50 billion stimulus package, fear economists ...
South Africa: Ground-Breaking R488m Fund Seeks to Catalyse Green-Economy SMMEs
April, 07 2020
South Africa - An innovative new fund has been launched in South Africa to incentivise fund managers to invest in small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) that are able to generate verifiable green outcomes and jobs in the energy, water, waste, infrastructure and land-management sectors ...
Vodacom and Safaricom Acquire M-Pesa to Accelerate Mobile Money Services in Africa
April, 06 2020
Sub-Saharan Africa - M-Pesa, the first and most successful mobile money payment service, has been acquired by South Africa's Vodacom and its Kenyan subsidiary Safaricom in a new joint venture that they hope will spur the growth of this novel new form of payment on the continent ...
Visa Foundation Commits $210 Million to Support Small and Micro Businesses and Immediate COVID-19 Emergency Relief
April, 06 2020
Global - The Visa Foundation today announced a commitment of two programs totaling $210 million to support small and micro businesses, aligning with the Foundation’s long-term focus on women’s economic advancement and inclusive economic development, and to address an urgent need from local communities following the spread of COVID-19. ...
Cambodia: SME Bank Officially Launched
April, 05 2020
Cambodia - Small and Medium Enterprise Bank of Cambodia (SME Bank), the Kingdom’s newest bank with initial capital of $100 million to provide financing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), was officially launched on Saturday ...
S. Shukla: Energy Markets Post-Covid 19 - Recovery May Take Time, Transition to Continue
April, 04 2020
Global - Global warming and climate change played a major role in the energy transition and are the most likely to prevail as the biggest motivators in post-COVID 19 pandemic world. ...
S. Saxena, Head Self-Regulation Compliance Officer at MFIN - India: Microcredit Crucial for Low Income Households Dealing with Covid-19 Blow
April, 04 2020
India - Undoubtedly Covid-19 is going to shock the demand (customers) and the supply (lenders and funders/investors) of micro-credit. Absorbing and reversing the shock would require coordinated approach in the ecosystem amongst governments, regulator and the business ...
ESG Funds Continue to Outperform Wider Market
April, 03 2020
Global - The MSCI World stock index fell by 14.5 per cent in March, but 62 per cent of global environmental, social and governance-focused large-cap equity funds outperformed the global tracker, according to data from Morningstar ...
Taiwan's Aid Agency Promotes Financial Inclusion in Palau
April, 03 2020
Palau - The program, which took effect after the signing of an agreement on March 30, is aimed at promoting inclusive and sustainable growth in the Pacific island nation, ICDF's public relations officer Alex Chang told CNA on Friday ...
Myanmar Investments Agrees to Sell Microfinance Firm MFIL to Thailand’s Thitikorn
April, 03 2020
Myanmar - LSE-listed investment firm Myanmar Investments International (MIL) and other shareholders of Myanmar Finance International Limited (MFIL) have accepted an offer to sell the microfinance business to Thai consumer finance firm Thitikorn ...
Ethiopia Is Opening Up Its Mobile Money Market to New Players
April, 02 2020
Ethiopia - Ethiopia is going to allow new entrants to offer mobile money services as part of its $10 billion home-grown economic reform agenda ...
Non-Profit Network Toniic Launches Impact Investing Platform
April, 02 2020
Global - Toniic, a nonprofit global network of active impact investors, has launched Toniic Tracer, a platform that enables investors and issuers (funds and enterprises) to share and compare information about impact investments, including goals, performance and outcomes ...
Private Impact Investing Likely to Outperform Public Markets in Crisis, Proponents Say
April, 02 2020
Global - The $500bn global impact market is already outperforming in the public markets and is set to continue during the pandemic crisis ...
A. Woolnough and A. Ashaye, WWB: Continuity in a Crisis: Exploring Reactions to the COVID-19 Outbreak among Providers of Financial Services for Low-Income Women
April, 02 2020
Global - Women’s World Banking reached out to financial services providers (FSPs) from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe to gauge their initial reactions to the developing situation around the Covid-19 outbreak. ...
Impact Investor Vital Capital Launches Debt Fund to Help African Companies Survive COVID-19 Crisis
April, 01 2020
Sub-Saharan Africa - The Vital Impact Relief Facility will start with an initial US$10 million in capital and will issue roughly 10 loans on favourable terms of approximately $1 million each with a duration of up to four years. Vital also plans to open the facility to other investors to extend the available pool of capital ...
Coronavirus Seen as Trigger for Mobile Money Growth in West Africa
April, 01 2020
West Africa - While coronavirus has given people a new incentive to go digital, operators have also lowered barriers by making it cheaper and in some places easier to sign up, said analysts ...

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