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Jan 2019
FINCA Azerbaijan Announces Major Expansion Plan
January, 31 2019
Azerbaijan - After 3 years of challenging macroeconomic conditions FINCA plans to open 8 new regional branches in 2019, reaching more people with more flexible services at lower cost ...
M.Haefele, CIO, UBS Global Wealth Management: Why Impact Investing Can Help Solve the World’s Problems
January, 31 2019
Global - Addressing the world’s most pressing economic, ecological, and social challenges is a common theme at the World Economic Forum in Davos. This year was no exception, with impact investing widely discussed as a strategy for tackling them ...
P. Hildebrand, B. Deese, BlackRock: Better Data Makes Sustainable Investing Pay
January, 31 2019
Global - A decade ago, investors who considered themselves “serious” would smirk into their brandy if you brought up sustainable investing. And that attitude wasn’t entirely unreasonable. Back then investing sustainably meant trading returns for values. We lacked the data and analytical frameworks to make such considerations an advantage rather than an obstacle ...
Can Mobile Money Boost Financial Inclusion in Southern Africa?
January, 30 2019
Southern Africa - Mobile money offers opportunities for the unbanked to save, spend, and transfer money using just a cell phone. Linda Du ’19, an MBA student at Yale SOM, traveled to Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to talk with providers, customers, and others about the technology’s potential to give the poor access to the financial system ...
Impact Investing Is Driving the Most Exciting Emerging Technologies
January, 30 2019
Global - “The advent of very powerful emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, blockchain, and XR can make big differences when combined with smart money coming from venture capital,” he said. “The combination of the two has been the best that has ever happened to make sustainable development goals a reality. ...
Cambodia: Lack of Awareness and Investment Hampering Local Fintech Sector
January, 29 2019
Cambodia - Despite experiencing rapid growth in the last few years, financial technology services in the Kingdom are still underdeveloped and underused, insiders said last week during the annual conference of the National Bank of Cambodia ...
Garanti Bank and IFC Sign EUR 55 M Loan Agreement to Support SMEs and Energy Efficiency Investments in Romania
January, 29 2019
Romania - Garanti Bank has signed a EUR 55 million loan agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), member of World Bank Group, with the purpose of funding small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and sustainable energy efficiency projects, aiming to generate growth and resilience to climate change ...
West Africa: Investisseurs & Partenaires Sells Two Companies Located in Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal
January, 28 2019
Ivory Coast, Mali & Senegal - The fund I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 1 (IPAE 1), launched by Investisseurs & Partenaires in 2012, exits from two companies of its portfolio: the group CONERGIES, based in Côte d’Ivoire and Mali, and the Senegalese company Delta Irrigation ...
Cambodia: Banks and MFIs Growing at a Healthy Rate - Central Bank
January, 28 2019
Cambodia - The National Bank of Cambodia says the local banking and microfinance industry saw healthy growth in 2018, with total assets expanding by 19.4 percent year-on-year to reach about $40 billion ...
Jordan: Number of Loans for SMEs Grew by 10.4% in 2018
January, 26 2019
Jordan - Support provided by banks to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) increased by 10.4 per cent towards the end of 2018, the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) announced on Saturday ...
FINCA Armenia Receives Smart Certification for Strong Client Protection Practices
January, 25 2019
Armenia - One of 20 banks and microfinance institutions comprising the FINCA Impact Finance (FIF) network, FINCA Armenia joins FIF subsidiaries in Ecuador, Georgia, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Nicaragua and Pakistan in receiving Certification from the Smart Campaign, a global initiative promoting prudent, transparent and respectful treatment of clients. It is the first institution in Armenia to be certified ...
India: The Rural Credit Rush
January, 25 2019
India - Microfinance firms and fintechs are looking to cash in on demand for credit in rural India which is expected to rise along with a surge in consumption. ...
China Sees Fewer Micro-credit Firms
January, 25 2019
China - China continued to see fewer micro-credit firms last year amid tightening regulations on malpractice in the sector, data showed Friday ...
India: Credit Penetration Low for MSMEs, RBI Working on Public Credit Registry to Improve Access to Micro Credit
January, 25 2019
India - Credit penetration is particularly low for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector where the ticket size is generally believed to be between one to ten million rupees, said Viral Acharaya, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ...
Y Analytics Aims to Bridge Gap between Research and Impact Measurement
January, 24 2019
Global - Y Analytics announced its launch Wednesday in Davos, Switzerland. The organization aims to help investors better understand and value social and environmental impact to make effective investment decisions that achieve impact. ...
N. Malhotra, Professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business: Misaligned Hiring Priorities Risk Taking the Impact out of Impact Investing
January, 24 2019
Global - When it comes to driving social progress, good intentions and a big heart are not enough to guide good decision-making, however much investment experience you bring on board. Identifying the ventures with the potential to achieve genuine lasting impact requires deep, hard-earned expertise in social change. ...
Papa New Guinea Micro Bank Deploys Fingerprint Biometrics to Improve Financial Inclusion
January, 24 2019
Papa New Guinea - A financial inclusion initiative in Papua New Guinea is introducing new access points equipped with fingerprint scanners to authenticate bank transactions with biometrics ...
Nigeria: Evaluating CBN’s Race to Financial Inclusion Deadline
January, 24 2019
Nigeria - With barely two years to meeting 2020 deadline of attaining 20 per cent financial exclusion target, ABDULWAHAB ISA reviews CBN’s efforts and the gaps to fill ...
Why There’s so much Push for ESG Investing
January, 24 2019
Global - The following article from Nicolas Pelletier, investment manager for Switzerland’s REYL & Cie Bank, writes about the forces driving interest in harnessing capital to achieve environmental, social and governance goals. This continues a pattern of debate about ESG-based approaches and promises to remain a hot theme this year ...
New Standard to Drive Global Finance Closer to the SDGs
January, 23 2019
Global - Today, the non-profit organization Verra launched the “Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard”. Under SD VISta, projects must demonstrate to the satisfaction of a third-party assessor that they advance the SDGs. The standard requires direct alignment with SDG targets ...
India: Annapurna Finance to Raise ₹180 Crore from ADB, OIJIF
January, 23 2019
India - Annapurna, which is focused on rural India, is primarily engaged in providing micro loans to women for income-generating activities. The company has raised multiple rounds of equity in the past ...
Kenya: 18,000 Shops Sign up for Credit Facility by Unilever, KCB and Mastercard
January, 23 2019
Kenya - Fast moving consumer goods firm Unilever East Africa, KCB Bank Kenya, and Mastercard have rolled-out a programme aimed at helping small and medium-sized businesses across Kenya to overcome the cash constraints that limit their ability to transact with Unilever products ...
India: Financial Inclusion Is Fast Losing Steam
January, 23 2019
India - The recent Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India 2017-18 points out some early signs of slowdown in financial inclusion (FI) efforts. This could undermine the formidable achievement so far in the journey of taking banking to the masses to ameliorate poverty. Amidst the asset quality mess and its multiplier impact, banks seem to be losing appetite to pursue FI ...
How Does Digital Finance Impact Low-Income Clients? Insights from a New ‘Evidence Gap Map’
January, 22 2019
Global - For the most part, the digital finance community is confident that the digitization of financial services presents an opportunity to get people on the track to living happier, healthier and more prosperous lives. But we should not assume that these are inevitable or exclusive outcomes. Where we have hope, we also have concerns ...
W. Byanyima, Executive Director, OXFAM: Private Wealth or Public Goods?
January, 22 2019
Global - Oxfam's latest report, “Private Wealth or Public Goods,” shows that the wealth of the world’s billionaires increased by 12 percent or US$2.5 billion a day last year ...
Kazakhstan: Microcredit Recipients Additionally Created over 12.6 Thousand Jobs
January, 22 2019
Kazakhstan - Jan. 22 at the Government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev, the progress in the implementation of the President's Five Social Initiatives was reviewed. Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population Madina Abylkassymova and the first vice ministers of agriculture Arman Yevniev, national economy Ruslan Dalenov reported on the fulfillment of the fourth direction “Expansion of Microcredit. ...
J. Beckham, CIO, MicroVest Capital Management: Enough Equity Financing - Why the Future of Impact Fintechs Depends on Private Debt
January, 21 2019
Global - Impact investors are no strangers to private debt. But are they too shy about these instruments, right when impact-focused fintech companies need them most ...
Swiss Microfinance Startup KiWi Raises €2.8 Million to Give Credit to More Mexican Entrepreneurs
January, 18 2019
Mexico - KiWi has raised a €2.8 million Series A round to accelerate its growth in Mexico and open new markets in the region. The Swiss venture capital funds Investiere, and Polytech Ventures led the round, along with Swiss impact funds Symbiotics and 1to4 Foundation ...
T. Dichter, Contributor, Forbes: Is Universal Financial Inclusion for the Third World's Poor Achievable?
January, 17 2019
Global - My experience researching the views and behavior of many poor "unbanked" people in developing countries since the 1980s suggests that financial inclusion is not as important to a great many of them as it is to the international development establishment that promotes it. ...
India: 18 NBFC-MFIs Pool Rs 835 Cr for Securitisation, Easing Liquidity Crisis
January, 17 2019
India - Eighteen micro finance non-banking financial companies (NBFC-MFIs) have pooled assets worth a combined Rs 835 crore for securitisation, to tide over a liquidity problem in the sector. The first tranche of the pool, worth Rs 79 crore, has been bought by Hinduja Leyland Finance (HLF) ...
The State of Socially Responsible Investing
January, 17 2019
Global - In the beginning of 2018, $11.6 trillion of all professionally managed assets—one $1 of every $4 invested in the United States—were under ESG investment strategies, a sharp increase from 2010, when the amount was close to just $3 trillion overall ...
Impact Investment Needs Global Standards and Better Measurement
January, 17 2019
Global - Social impact investment, which aims to improve well-being as well as earn a financial return, could be more effective if it were more clearly defined internationally with more measurable outcomes, according to a new OECD report ...
Credit Suisse Joins with CGAP on the Application of Digital Finance to Alleviate Poverty
January, 16 2019
Global - Credit Suisse, one of the world's leading financial services providers, is partnering with the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) to support its work in building inclusive and responsible financial systems that help people move out of poverty, protect their economic gains and advance the broader global development agenda ...
EFSE and Bank of Georgia Group Expand Financing for Local MSEs
January, 15 2019
Georgia - The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) has provided a senior loan of $10 million to the Bank of Georgia Group PLC for on-lending to micro and small enterprises (MSEs). ...
Microcredit was a Hugely Hyped Solution to Global Poverty. What Happened?
January, 15 2019
Global - Studies have shown it hasn’t really lifted people out of poverty. But it’s still made a difference in the lives of the poor ...
Impact Investing Manager Triodos IM Enters Italy
January, 14 2019
Italy - Global asset manager Triodos Investment Management has entered the Italian market counting on the advisory of Italian consultancy Erasmus Capital Partners ...
India: Kerala's Microfinance Industry Getting Back on Track After Floods
January, 14 2019
India - When the floods struck, the microfinance sector in Kerala stood at about Rs 210 crore and had a little over 1,20,000 borrowers ...
Pakistan: Let Microfinance Banks Do SME Financing
January, 14 2019
Pakistan - In December 2017, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) launched its policy to encourage financing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) ...
Alipay Reaches 1B Users Worldwide; Implements Blockchain Tech in Pakistan’s Telenor Microfinance Bank
January, 14 2019
Global - As reported by Tribune Express, the 1 billion milestone was largely influenced by the company’s collaborations with several international smart payment companies, including Thailand’s TrueMoney and India-based Paytm ...
The New Era of Refugee Investing
January, 14 2019
Global - The Refugee Investment Network (RIN) was established in 2018 to take a closer look at the manifold socio-economic issues affecting refugees, and to create new pathways for investment, jobs creation, and sustainable economic growth among forcibly displaced people. ...
Azerbaijan Attracts Foreign Investors to the Microfinance Market
January, 14 2019
Azerbaijan - Azerbaijan Microfinance Association (AMFA) is negotiating to attract manat funds from foreign investors, AMFA Executive Director Zhalya Hajiyeva said, Trend reports ...
IDB Invest Provides Loan to Mundo Mujer, the Largest Private Microfinance Bank in Colombia
January, 11 2019
Colombia - IDB Invest, the private sector institution of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, has provided a loan in Colombian pesos for $20 million to Banco Mundo Mujer, the leading private microfinance bank in Colombia. The funds will be used to finance micro and small entrepreneurs ...
African Land Restoration Draws Investors
January, 11 2019
Africa - Globally, these projects, which are based on sustainable business models in agriculture and land use, could be worth up to $2.3 trillion and provide more than 70 million jobs by 2030 in an area where poverty and unemployment plague the population ...
Kenya: Kenyattas Buy Jamii Bora Bank for Sh1.4bn
January, 11 2019
Kenya - CBA’s microcredit business, M-Shwari, is to be spun off to Jamii Bora while CBA/NIC will focus on their mainstay corporate and SME banking ...
India Has a Growing Impact Investing Industry, but Can it Scale?
January, 10 2019
India - Many eyes are on India to see if it can succeed in building a robust domestic impact investing industry and what role it can play in the country’s development efforts. While the country has a much larger market than most, lessons learned there could help efforts elsewhere ...
Nigeria: CBN Unveils Strategy to Achieve 80% Financial Inclusion
January, 10 2019
Nigeria - The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday, unveiled the revised National Financial Inclusion Strategy designed to ensure that 80 per cent of Nigerian adults have access to financial services by 2020 ...
Mexico Launches Major Initiative to Boost Financial Sector
January, 09 2019
Mexico - The project, which touches on technology, services, market incentives, fees and financial inclusion, is the product of months of discussions between the heads of Mexico's private financial institutions, the central bank and the incoming finance ministry under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) ...
R. Steffen, Director of Impact Investing, Omidyar Network: Moving Beyond the Trade-off Debate
January, 08 2019
Global - One perspective claims that there is always a trade-off between return and impact and that all true impact investing therefore involves concessionary, or subcommercial, returns. The opposing perspective is that there is never a trade-off, and thus that all smart impact investments should achieve full commercial, market-rate returns ...
Kenya: Microfinance Banks (MFBs) Face a Tough Operating Environment After Their Losses Increased by a Devastating 450 per Cent.
January, 08 2019
Kenya - A new report by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows that the 13 MFBs saw their pre-tax losses increase five times to Sh935 million by end of June 2018, compared to a loss of Sh171 million in June 2017 ...
Telenor Microfinance Bank Introduces Pakistan’s First Blockchain-based Cross-border Remittance Service Powered by Alipay
January, 08 2019
Pakistan - The blockchain remittance service is provided by Telenor’s Easypaisa and Valyou, a financial technology company that provides remittances to underbanked communities. ...
Pakistan: PTCL Injects PKR 4 Bln in U Microfinance Bank
January, 08 2019
Pakistan - The capital injection will enable the bank to further capitalize on the growth opportunities in Pakistan’s microfinance sector, the company said. ...
RemitFund Launches Social Venture Diaspora Fund for Investment into African Businesses
January, 08 2019
Africa - RemitFund, a non-profit organization has launched an investment fund called African Diaspora Investment Fund (ADIF). ADIF aims to transform international remittances into social impact funds to power businesses and other social projects ...
Philippines: BSP Approves PBB Merger with Two Savings Banks
January, 07 2019
Philippines - The merger of both banks will add approximately 10 percent to PBB’s bottom line and gives PBB an opportunity to further strengthen its consumer lending business while establishing a foothold in microfinance market ...
India: A Sad Anniversary - 50 Years of Bank Nationalisation
January, 07 2019
India - It’s been 50 years since bank nationalisation and it would have made more sense to provide private commercial banks incentives to open rural branches rather than nationalise them ...
Nigeria: Financial Inclusion, Savings Promos Yield 15m New Accounts for Banks
January, 07 2019
Nigeria - Financial Vanguard analysis of latest Industry Customer Bank Account data released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) showed that the number of bank accounts rose to 115.2 million in November, 2018 from 100.2 million in December 2017, representing 15 million or 15 percent increase ...
India: Chennai Start-up Rooting for Agricultural Lending Has Caught the Attention of the Dutch
January, 04 2019
India - Samunnati, an agricultural financial intermediary raised $5 million with the support of Netherland's development bank, Entrepreneur India chats with CEO Anil Kumar to know more ...
India: Namra Finance Gets Refinance Assistance of Rs 35 Cr from NABARD
January, 04 2019
India - Namra Finance Limited, wholly owned subsidiary of Arman Financial Services Limited, has successfully concluded a Refinance Assistance of INR 35 Crore from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) today. ...
FINCA Impact Finance Subsidiary in Armenia Issues $2.8 Million Bond Offering
January, 03 2019
Armenia - FINCA Armenia announced the issuance of AMD 1.4 billion (USD 2.8 million) in nominal, non-documentary coupon bonds, further diversifying its funding base. Each three-year coupon bond has a nominal value of AMD 10,000 and a semi-annual coupon rate of 10.5%. The issuance is the first of three tranches the institution plans to issue over the next year, with a total value of USD 10 million. ...
Six Ways to Support Small and Growing Businesses in Emerging Markets
January, 03 2019
Global - Entrepreneur support programs are popular among donors, but many fail to incorporate rigorous research on the most effective ways to help businesses grow. Insights from current academic literature can help improve program design ...
Cambodia: Bankers Agree - 2018 a Great Year for Local Financial Sector
January, 03 2019
Cambodia - Despite uncertainty caused by the July general elections, 2018 was an excellent year in terms of business performance for a number of key players in the local financial sector ...
Zimbabwe Amends Microfinance Act
January, 02 2019
Zimbabwe - Following the bids by microfinanciers, government last Friday gazetted the Microfinance Amendment Bill stating that the Bill will amend the Microfinance Act (Chapter 24:30) extending the tenure of licences to a five-year period, removing perpetual registrations and renewals ...

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