News

Print
Mar 2018
Nigeria: Microfinance Bank Disburses N32bn to SMEs
March, 31 2018
Nigeria - BaoBaB Micro-Finance Bank says it has disbursed N32 billion to artisans and Small and Medium Enterprises, SME, since inception in 2009 ...
Nigeria: FCMB Capital Markets Lists Lapo MFBs N3.15bn Bond on FMDQ
March, 30 2018
Nigeria - According to a statement from the investment bank, the bond, the first ever by a microfinance bank to raise money in Nigeria’s debt capital market, was priced at 17.75 per cent and has a tenor of 5 years. The Issue was rated A- by Agusto & Co and BBB+ by GCR, which are investment grade ratings ...
FinTech in South Africa: Accelerating the Digital Transformation of Financial Sector
March, 29 2018
South Africa - The impact of Blockchain, AI, Mobile Money, Digital Wallets and Payment innovations are radically transforming the financial services landscape as FinTech disruptors intensify the challenge to Incumbent Banks in Africa and kickstart new growth opportunities ...
C. Briggs Head of Community Innovation, JPMorgan Chase: USA - Better Neighborhood, Better Life: What Research Shows About Investments in Equitable Development
March, 29 2018
USA - All too often, development happens to a community and not with a community. Working with our CDFI partners across the country, JPMorgan Chase is trying to put people and communities in control—so they can create a better future for everybody ...
Mobile Money Services Make Waves in Myanmar
March, 27 2018
Myanmar - Seven years ago, the country had virtually no formal banking sector. Now, its clunkier commercial lenders face extinction thanks to the arrival of exciting new mobile money services whose mission is to march onwards and upwards ...
Ukraine: EIB Group Provides EUR 69 Mln Guarantees to Raiffeisen Bank Aval for Expanding SME Lending
March, 27 2018
Ukraine - The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIB Group) have provided Raiffeisen Bank Aval (Kyiv) with EUR 69 million guarantees to support lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) ...
Philippines: Endorsing Financial Inclusion Bill to Law
March, 27 2018
Philippines - Banks currently would prefer land and other “hard assets” as collateral. Thus, many micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are forced to go to the informal “5-6” usurers—thus, impeding their growth ...
Paraguay: The Secret to Making it Out of Poverty
March, 26 2018
Paraguay - Poverty is an incredibly complex issue. Just ask Martín Burt, former mayor of Asuncion, Paraguay, where one-third of the people live below the poverty line ...
The Role of HNWIs and Family Offices in Impact Investing
March, 26 2018
Global - “More than 90% of HNWIs globally, particularly those under 40, believe that driving social impact is important,” said Pitchbook in a new report. “Many philanthropically motivated, wealthy investors choose to act on this conviction through their investment choices, and asset managers have increasingly adopted impact asset offerings to serve this demand. ...
Partners Group Launches $1bn Social Impact Fund to Meet Demand
March, 26 2018
Global - Partners Group, the second largest private equity group by market capitalisation, has become the latest buyout group to start such a fund, launching a global $1bn “impact” fund aimed at investing in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals, people familiar with the move said ...
Decoding the Various Micro Finance and Money Lending Models in India
March, 25 2018
India - Microfinance is meant to provide very small credit to the poor and small businesses, which don’t have access to banking and related services. With organised banking sector not having much to offer to the poor and marginalised section of the society and the small entrepreneurs; microfinance sector has become one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. Microfinancing is also instrumental in the financial inclusion of the long left out sections of the Indian society ...
For World's 'Unbanked,' Bitcoin Is the Future
March, 24 2018
Global - Is bitcoin a currency, or an investment? A speculative bubble, or here for the long run? As the debate continues, one thing is certain. Bitcoin is filling the holes of the legacy financial system and providing real solutions for pressing problems, like the banking of the unbanked ...
Financial Inclusion Strategy for Marginalized Zimbabwean Muslims: Islamic Finance
March, 24 2018
Zimbabwe - In 2016 The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) introduced the Financial Inclusion Strategy with the obvious aim of drawing a marginalized number of people who are unbanked into the financial system. The Strategy is highlighted by an ambitious plan to increase the banking population from 30% at the time it was implemented to at least 90% by 2020. ...
IFC Highlights South Africa Investment Opportunities to Support Jobs, SMEs, and Women
March, 23 2018
South Africa - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today committed to expand support for initiatives in South Africa that help address persistent challenges in job creation, especially for young people and women. In a speech to government officials and business leaders in Johannesburg, IFC CEO Philippe Le Houérou said IFC is ready to deliver expertise and new ideas that support policies aimed at addressing record high levels of poverty and inequality in the country ...
What Is Sustainable Investing and Can it Really Make a Difference to the World?
March, 22 2018
Global - Debjani Raffan, head of UBS Wealth Management Scotland, tells Bryce Wilcock why the company is committed to helping its clients make an impact as well as a profit ...
Rwanda: Microfinance Institutions Tipped on Lending and Consumer Protection
March, 22 2018
Rwanda - Local microfinance institutions (MFIs) have been urged to embrace responsible lending practices and protect consumers to boost access to finance. Bernard Nsengiyumva, the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) principal analyst in charge of policy and regulations, said it is important for MFIs to adopt practices that will drive financial inclusion, especially in rural areas ...
Omidyar Network Spins Out New $100 Million Venture Fund Called Spero Ventures
March, 21 2018
Global - Spero Ventures will invest primarily in Series A and seed deals, as well as the occasional Series B, Mahesh says, focusing on companies along those three themes that can achieve “impact at scale.” ...
Microfinance in Africa: Benefits and Challenges
March, 21 2018
Global - In terms of female empowerment and gender equity, African microfinance plays an important role. Women account for around 70% of the world’s microfinance clients. The vast majority of them have excellent repayment records, despite the daily hardships they face ...
IFC and Crédit Agricole Finalise “Innovative Transaction” to Boost Emerging Markets Lending
March, 20 2018
Global - The deal is expected to free up US$510mn that the bank will provide as so-called ‘social loans’ in emerging markets, to support health, education, infrastructure and other key sectors ...
How Investable Are the Sustainable Development Goals?
March, 20 2018
Global - The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were set by the United Nations in 2015 and adopted by all 193 countries of the UN General Assembly ...
S. Willis, M. El-Zoghbis: Egypt on the Precipice - Can Fintech Pave the Way for a More Inclusive Financial System?
March, 20 2018
Egypt - Although Egypt has been on the verge of a breakthrough in financial access for decades, its growth in financial inclusion has persistently lagged behind similar economies. ...
Amundi, IFC Raise $1.4bn for EM Green Bond Fund
March, 19 2018
Global - Some $1.42bn (€1.15bn) of inflows were raised for the fund, which is expected to pour $2bn (€1.62bn) into emerging markets green bonds over its lifetime (2018-2025). IFC brought $256m (€208.2m) to the fund ...
When Fintech Goes Green
March, 19 2018
Global - Instead of competing directly with banks, some fintechs are finding opportunities banks haven’t noticed ...
Pakistan: Microfinance Banks Crucial for Economic Growth
March, 19 2018
Pakistan - Microfinance banks can ensure sustainable development in Pakistan because they are already targeting small farmers and people who work in small industries, said FINCA Microfinance Bank CEO M Mudassar Aqil ...
Inclusive Business a “Radical Triple Win” for Myanmar
March, 19 2018
Myanmar - Adopting inclusive business practices will be a “triple win” for Myanmar, policy experts and business leaders advocated. Meanwhile, the government wants this approach to secure better jobs and better lives for the bottom 40 percent of income earners ...
Alibaba’s Ant Financial Invests $185mn into Pakistani Telco, TMB
March, 18 2018
Pakistan - Ant Financial, the finance arm of Alibaba Group, has acquired a 45% stake in Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB), a mobile platform in Pakistan ...
India: Is Financial Inclusion Just a Myth?
March, 18 2018
India - The official emphasis on financial inclusion keeps re-emerging in policy documents but bankers show little earnestness in pursuing it on account of a plethora of constraints ...
Kenya: Mobile Lending Grows in Tapping Unbanked
March, 18 2018
Kenya - Tech companies and banks are turning to mobile for micro lending, cashing in on the unbanked to push products and services ...
Côte d'Ivoire: One of UK’s Biggest Banks Is Going Digital in Africa for a Share of the Mobile Money Market
March, 17 2018
Côte d'Ivoire - UK bank, Standard Chartered, is making a play for the mobile financial services market in Côte d’Ivoire—where it has no physical presence—with the the launch of its first digital-only retail bank. The bank will offer digital services allowing users make transfers and pay bills ...
Eco Bank Pioneers Agency Banking in Gambia
March, 16 2018
Gambia - The Ecobank Agency Banking product is meant to bring financial services to everyone, said Lamin Camara, permanent secretary, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs ...
ERDB, IFC, and EIB Commit US$ 425 Million to Fund for Green Bonds in Emerging Markets
March, 16 2018
Global - The EBRD has invested US$ 68.5 million in the “Amundi Planet – Emerging Green One” Fund which, with a total investor commitment of US$ 1.42 billion, is the world’s largest green bond fund and the first exclusively dedicated to emerging markets ...
E. Duflos, Director, S. Sener, Policy Specialist, UNSDSA: In Nigeria, New Horizons for Digital Financial Inclusion
March, 15 2018
Nigeria - The story of these two women illustrates the enormous potential of digital finance for Nigeria’s financially excluded. With only half of adults formally included in the financial system, there is great need for technology-enabled services. The country has made real progress, with the number of financially included adults almost doubling, from 23.6 percent in 2008 to 48.6 percent in 2016, but the pace has since stalled ...
Indonesia: Go-Jek Partners with State-Lender BNI to Facilitate Micro-Loans to MSMEs
March, 15 2018
Indonesia - Indonesian ride-hailing giant Go-Jek has announced a strategic collaboration between its digital payment system, Go-Pay, and state-owned bank BNI to provide the startup’s network of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) partners with access to the lenders’ micro-credit program ...
N. Nickens Gunn, CFO & CAO, Capital Impact Partners: USA - How Nonprofits Can Tap Into the Impact Investment Market
March, 13 2018
USA - Rethinking traditional impact investment products offers a path forward for nonprofit organizations seeking greater access to capital ...
Pakistan: Memorandum Signed for Poverty Reduction
March, 13 2018
Pakistan - The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and Rural Support Programme Network (RSPN) on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to help graduate people out of extreme poverty in the country ...
United Arab Emirates: VAT Implementation Makes SME Lending Safer
March, 13 2018
United Arab Emirates - The UAE’s banking sector stands to benefit from the implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) as the new tax system makes the balance sheets of corporates, particularly the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) more transparent, said Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair CEO of Mashreq Bank and Chairman of the UAE Banks Federation ...
J.-P. de Schrevel, Founder, Bamboo Capital Partners: Two Trends and a Caveat - The Three Factors That Will Define Impact Investing’s Future
March, 13 2018
Global - In recent years, impact investing has come of age. In 2017, not only was more capital committed to impact investment strategies (17 percent more in 2017 versus 2016), but there was also significantly more buzz and excitement around the topic. The sector’s positive momentum gives cause for optimism, and while there are a number of moving parts to the evolution of impact investing, two stand out clearly ...
Women and Financial Inclusion – The Case of Pakistan
March, 12 2018
Pakistan - In achieving overall stability of the financial sector, authorities are increasingly aware of drafting and implementing policies which boost overall financial inclusion and financial consumer protection. An enabling environment which facilitates competition, promotes innovation and the use of technology empowers financial consumers to make informed choices and enhances financial inclusion and consumer protection ...
IFC to Boost Support for Microfinance in Myanmar
March, 12 2018
Myanmar - International Finance Corporation (IFC), a private sector arm of World Bank Group, has invested US$23.5 million (about Bt736 million) in four microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Myanmar, and is eager to invest more this year ...
Kazakhstan to Widen Social Safety Net, Increase Microlending
March, 12 2018
Kazakhstan - Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev presented on Monday several “large-scale social projects” aimed at expanding the Central Asian country’s “social unity even more. ...
IFC Supports DBACD to Increase Microfinance Lending in Egypt
March, 11 2018
Egypt - The International Finance Cooperation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, will provide advisory services to the Dakahliya Businessmen Association for Community Development (DBACD), a leading microfinance institution in Egypt, with the aim of ramping up its lending to vulnerable and low-income citizens, a statement from the IFC said Sunday ...
Sustainable Development Goals Cannot Be Achieved if Women's Rights Denied: UN
March, 09 2018
Global - President of the UN General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak said Thursday that the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved if women's rights are denied ...
Ghana: About 319 Microfinance Institutions Licensed to Operate - BOG
March, 09 2018
Ghana - About 319 microfinance institutions across the country have been licensed to operate and are in general compliance with the central bank’s guidelines, the Bank of Ghana has said ...
A New Report Shows that Banks Could Profit Big Time by Closing the Financial Inclusion Gender Gap
March, 08 2018
Global - According to a new report by the UN Foundation and Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, women have influence or control over only about 25 to 30 percent of the world’s wealth – assets worth more than $20 trillion. The report finds that two-thirds of Americans without bank accounts are women. The statistics are even worse in the six regions in which the World Bank works. In those areas, only 14 percent of women on average had bank accounts in 2014. In the Middle East, just 9 percent of women had bank accounts ...
Kenya: KCB to Invest Kshs 900m in Digital Financial Services
March, 08 2018
Kenya - KCB Group is planning to invest 900 million shillings in digital financial services to boost service delivery as well as customer satisfaction ...
W. Ahmed, Deputy Director, Bankable Frontier Associates: Feminine Finance
March, 08 2018
Global - How can we design financial products for women? We hear this question from a lot of financial service providers. After researching the financial lives of low-income households through Financial Diaries studies in Kenya, Mexico, and India, we answered this question in A Buck Short, a paper published last year with support from the Omidyar Network ...
Female Financial Empowerment: Experian Backs Financial-Literacy and Microfinance Initiatives Targeting 2 Million Disadvantaged Women in Asia
March, 07 2018
Global - A growing body of research suggests that more female workforce participation in a country corresponds with higher GDP, as does greater gender equality overall. And a crucial element of this is boosting financial education and inclusion for women, widely seen as one of the most effective means of reducing poverty in emerging economies ...
M. Qazi: India - Microfinance: The Need to Revive India’s Defining Sector
March, 07 2018
India - In the last decade and a half, microfinance institutions (MFIs) in India have struggled to gain legitimacy as credible institutions even though they have demonstrated the ability to deliver financial services to unbanked low-income households sustainably. Serious doubts about their modus operandi, high-interest rates, governance, client treatment, and transparency continued to bedevil the sector ...
E. Osuji: Nigeria - Socio-Economic Crisis and Repayment Incentives in Microfinance
March, 07 2018
Nigeria - The violence in Nigeria has created more demand for services that alleviate pain and suffering, including microfinance. Sadly we are not good in such services. Ironical also they have worsened the risks of such fields of endeavour, including lending to the poor. One of the ways by which the risk of microfinancing is enhanced by the crises is by reducing the capacity of clients to meet their financial obligations to lenders. It changes their repayment behaviour and creates tension in the lending institutions, on the one hand, and between them and their clients on the other. If microfinance is to survive we need to get more proactive with our lending strategies ...
Nigeria: Women Group Seeks Govt Support to Boost Nation’s Economy
March, 07 2018
Nigeria - Business and Professional Women Nigeria (BPW), an NGO, on Tuesday appealed for government support to enhance its women empowerment programmes to boost the nation’s economy ...
O. Mailafia: Financial Inclusion Lessons from Ghana
March, 06 2018
Ghana - By financial inclusion we mean the provision of financial services to socially and economically marginalised and excluded segments of the population. It entails provision of bank and other financial services to as broad a spectrum of the population as is possible in a manner that empowers them economically while enabling access to the life-blood of credit and other financial services ...
China: South-to-North Water Diversion Helps in Poverty Reduction
March, 06 2018
China - More than 20,000 people in central China's Hubei province, one of the water sources of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, have been lifted out of poverty due to the close cooperation between governments and companies in Beijing and Hubei province, authorities announced on Feb. 28 ...
Indian E-Wallets Are Gasping for Breath
March, 06 2018
India - The mood in India’s e-wallet Industry is sombre as firms face a potential loss of up to 80% of their business due to a new regulation. The deadline to complete the mandatory know-your-customer (KYC) process and linking e-wallets to a government-approved identity proof, ended on Feb. 28. Since then, people who didn’t finish the verification process have been unable to load money from their bank accounts ...
Banks Need to Up Their Game in Impact Investing
March, 05 2018
Global - The optimist in each individual wants to believe that bankers are no different from everyone else in wanting to make the world a better place. Yet, the banking industry as a whole has been largely absent from the growing public discourse around how to mobilise savings and investment to bring about positive change in the world ...
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Announces $170 Mln Investment to Boost Women’s Economic Empowerment
March, 05 2018
Global - The investments, focussed in India, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, are aimed at advancing gender equality, spreading digital financial inclusion, increasing job opportunities, and supporting the agricultural secto ...
J. Offei Jr.: Microfinance Is the Major Transformational Tool in Ghana - Restoring & Preserving the Public Confidence Is Key
March, 05 2018
Ghana - In this publication, I seek to justify partly why the Microcredit Service companies in Ghana can significantly contribute to the Ghanaian economy by creating ample jobs and improving the production levels in our informal sector if only the right thinking, policies and supporting systems such as an accessible capital market for Micro creditors are setup ...
K. Carnell, Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman: Fintechs Move to Provide an Aternative to Banks
March, 05 2018
Global - The report, Fintech lending to small and medium sized (SME) enterprises: Improving transparency and disclosure, analyses the different approaches to disclosure across the fintech industry, and makes recommendations on best practice and identifies commitments to action. SME lending presents a huge opportunity for the fintech industry, so I commend the sector for its leadership in the financial services industry in addressing the needs of small business borrowers. It presents a genuine alternative finance solution for small businesses where traditional banks are limited in their capacity to provide loans that are not secured to property ...
Fintech for Financial Inclusion: The Path Forward for Colombia
March, 05 2018
Colombia - Recommendations for how Colombia’s banks, fintechs, telcos, and government can better harness technology to boost inclusion ...
Egypt’s Microfinance Portfolio Reaches EGP 11.12bn at End-2017
March, 03 2018
Egypt - The value of Egypt’s microfinance portfolio reached EGP 11.12bn at the end of 2017, versus EGP 6.66bn in 2016, according to Mona Zulfikar, chairperson of the Egyptian Union of Microfinance. ...
African SMEs Set to Benefit from USD 74M Guarantee
March, 02 2018
Global - The African Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (AGF) has today entered into a re- guarantee transaction of an amount of up to USD 74 million with GuarantCo, to increase its guarantee capacity for SME financing ...
Madagascar: $45 Million to Promote Financial Inclusion of Individuals and Small Enterprises
March, 02 2018
Madagascar - The World Bank approved today a $45 million International Development Association (IDA)* credit to promote the financial inclusion of individuals and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Madagascar ...
Nigeria: Microfinance Banks, Major Funding Source for SMEs –Adegbami
March, 02 2018
Nigeria - For most small businesses, especially those in the bottom of the pyramid grappling with credit crunch, microfinance banks remain a veritable source of finance ...
India: MFIs Grow 15% at Rs 1.9 Trillion During April-December - Report
March, 01 2018
India - Within this, the portfolio outstanding under the NBFC-MFIs, microfinance focused small finance banks (SFBs) and universal banks grew at a faster pace of 19 per cent ...
India: Fintech Startup Cash Suvidha Offers Loans to Over 32000 SMEs
March, 01 2018
India - Cash Suvidha, a Fintech Company which serves millions of small businesses in India recently has announced that it has empowered more than 32000 SMEs, MSMEs, Startups and women entrepreneurs in India by providing alternative lending services ...
London PE Firm Eyes $250 Million in African Energy Projects
March, 01 2018
Global - The company has established a partnership with Neo Themis, a power supplier based in Casablanca, Morocco. It’s currently developing about 400 megawatts of renewable energy and gas-fired projects across Africa and seeks to have 1 gigawatt under construction by 2019 ...
Vietnam: Poverty Reduction Policy Should Be Encouraging: Deputy PM
March, 01 2018
Vietnam - The average household poverty rate in Vietnam dropped by 1.51 percent from 2016 to 6.72 percent in 2017, according to the national target programme on sustainable poverty reduction. The decline rate is higher than the target set by the National Assembly, 1.3 percent to 1.5 percent ...

Research Analysis Tools

The fund indexes, institution benchmarks and other market information displayed here are all Symbiotics designed analysis tools, created in-house by our analysts and experts. Symbiotics has one of the oldest track records in microfinance investment analysis dating back to the late 1990s; its indexes and benchmarks have been regularly used as markers by investors, asset managers, financial institutions and practitioners. These, as well as several other research products, are available through the Research Account. Click on the link below to find out more.

Learn More