MICROFINANCE EVENT: 2nd African Islamic Fintech Summit; November 29 – 30, 2019; Dakar, Senegal

Focusing on "African financial inclusion in the digital era", this event is a continuation of a similar summit held in Tunisia in March 2019. The event in Dakar will address the topics of Islamic finance, financial technology and economic empowerment. Panel discussions will focus on the next generation of fintech and the outlook of Africa, the social impact of fintech and the challenges Islamic finance faces in the era of fintech. Workshop sessions include analysing big data in Islamic banking and understanding how digital payments can support sustainable development. This event is jointly organized by the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and the International Islamic Finance Training Institute (IIFTI).

#MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: #IDBank #Dragon #Capital to Develop Sharia-compliant #Investment “Silk-way Growth Fund” for SMEs in #Kazakhstan

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), a development finance institution of the Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB), and Dragon Capital Partners, the venture capital and private equity arm of Ukraine-based Dragon Capital Group, recently announced the intention to develop the Silk-way Growth Fund, a Sharia-compliant investment fund benefitting “high growth” small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) involved in manufacturing in Kazakhstan. The fund is slated to address the “financing gap created due to difficulty of accessing capital at sustainable market rates and the banking sub-sector’s lack of confidence in SME entrepreneurs.” According to ICD, SMEs make up 96 percent of all businesses in Kazakhstan and 25 percent of the country’s GDP.
ICD will act as fund advisor to Silk-way as part of its SME Platform, an initiative aimed at building Sharia-compliant investment management capacities in ICD’s 52 member countries, and it will consider investing capital in the fund as plans for the fund are finalized.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Gemeinschaftsbank für Leihen und Schenken (GLS) Invests $15m in Sanad Fund for MSME to Deploy in Middle East, North Africa

Gemeinschaftsbank für Leihen und Schenken (GLS), a German bank that focuses on investing in socially responsible and ecological projects, recently invested EUR 13 million (USD 14.5 million) in Sanad Fund for MSME, a Luxembourg-based public-private partnership that provides debt and equity financing in the Middle East and North Africa. As of March 2016, Sanad has raised total investor commitments of USD 186 million. As of 2013, GLS had total assets of EUR 3.2 billion (USD 4 billion), deposits of EUR 2.8 billion (USD 3.5 billion), a loan portfolio of EUR 1.7 billion (USD 2.1 billion) and 165,000 customers.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Visa, China Foundation for Development of Financial Education, China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation to Promote Financial Literacy, Mobile Banking

Visa Incorporated recently announced partnerships with two organizations to promote financial inclusion in China: the China Foundation for Development of Financial Education (CFDFE), which is affiliated with China’s central bank and seeks to alleviate poverty, and the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA), a government-backed organization focusing on emergency relief. Visa will collaborate with CFDFE to build the “China Financial Inclusion and Education (Jinhui Project) International Demonstration Zone” to facilitate financial education and capacity building. In partnership with CFPA, Visa will launch a mobile phone-based program in Inner Mongolia to educate farmers in eight counties and to promote Internet-based financial services.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Jordan’s Queen Noor, King Hussein Foundation Launch Sharia-Compliant Microfinance Institution Ethmar

Queen Noor of Jordan, the founder and chairperson of the King Hussein Foundation (KHF), recently announced the launch of Ethmar, a microfinance institution (MFI) that is compliant with Shariah. Queen Noor expressed the vision of Ethmar becoming an innovative model for economic empowerment similar to the other pioneering programs launched by the King Hussein Foundation. As of 2015, the foundation operates programs including the Jubilee Institute; the Information and Research Center; the National Center for Culture and Performing Arts and the National Music Conservatory.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Gulf African Bank of Kenya to Receive Advisory Services Under International Finance Corporation’s Africa Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Finance Program

The International Finance Corporation, the private-investment arm of the US-based World Bank Group, has announced that the Gulf African Bank (GAB) in Kenya has become a member of its Africa Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Finance Program. Through this program, GAB will receive advisory services from IFC in the areas of accessibility for customers, speed of service, adding new products and customer relationships. In 2013, IFC paid USD 5 million for a stake of undisclosed size in GAB. As of December 2013, GAB had total assets of KES 16 billion (USD 184 million). IFC has 182 member countries and reported total assets of USD 77.5 billion.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Applications Open for $100k “Islamic Microfinance Challenge 2013: Beyond Murabaha”

The second Islamic Microfinance Challenge is now accepting applications from Islamic financial services providers that offer Sharia-compliant products that are not based on the “murabaha” concept of “cost plus markup”. The contest, themed “Beyond Murabaha” for 2013, is sponsored by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), Islamic Development Bank (ISDB), Al Baraka Banking Group, and Triple Jump. The contest is also supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The winner of the contest will be awarded a grant of USD 100,000. The deadline for submitting applications is January 31, 2014, and the application form can be found at the following address: http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/islamic_mf_challenge_1.pdf

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UN’s Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative Launches New Reporting Framework Seeking to Increase Transparency

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative has announced the launch of a new reporting framework for its signatories that is aimed to increase the transparency of their investment activitie. The framework consists of approximately 220 indicators relating to investment policies and practices. The indicators are grouped into modules based on the following asset classes: listed equities, fixed income, private equity, property, infrastructure and inclusive finance. By mid-2014, approximately 800 of the 1,209 signatories are expected to have used the new framework. PRI will delist members that fail to report by then.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Council of Credit Unions Publishes Islamic Operations Manual for Shariah-compliant Credit Unions

US-based World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) recently published the “Islamic Finance Manual: Operating Policies and Procedures”, a guide that is intended to assist bankers with establishing Shariah-compliant credit unions in developing countries. The manual was developed by the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA), an Australia-based member organization of WOCCU, based on COBA’s experience establishing Islamic investment and finance cooperatives in Afghanistan since 2004. The guide is intended to provide operating policies and procedures based on international standards for financial cooperatives and to comply with Islamic law. Each chapter includes a review of procedural requirements as well as template contracts and forms. The manual is available online from WOCCU’s website.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: No-Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) New South Wales (NSW) Conference 2013, October 22-23, 2013, Sydney, Australia

The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) New South Wales (NSW) Conference 2013 will take place in Sydney, Australia on October 22-23, 2013. The event will highlight NILS and microfinance topics including energy efficiency programs, impact investing and social innovation, strategies to facilitate best practices in microfinance, and integration, collaboration and consolidation of NILS in microfinance institutions and community organizations in eight territories of Australia. NILS is a community-based program that provides interest-free loans for individuals or families living on low incomes to purchase essential goods and services in Australia.The cost to attend the two-day event is AUS 360 (USD 335), additional discounts are available. For more information visit the event website http://www.nilsnsw.org.au/latest-news/events.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Create “Geospatial Mapping of Financial Institutions” Program to Reach Unbanked Nigerians

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reportedly has partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to form a new initiative called “Geospatial Mapping of Financial Institutions” that aims to increase the financial inclusion of low-income Nigerians. The new service will map all financial access points in Nigeria, including every microfinance institution and off-site ATMs, that Nigerians will be able to see online or on their mobile phones. The program reportedly will also enable the government and banks to determine whether certain regions of the country lack access to an appropriate number of financial services. BMGF will provide a monetary grant of an unspecified amount in order to pursue this goal. This new project is part of CBN’s initiative, the Nigeria Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS). The amount of monetary support that CBN has contributed to NFIS is unavailable.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Islamic Development Bank (ISDB), Government of Punjab Provide $195m for Microfinance Facility in Pakistan

The Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) will disburse a loan of PKR 14.6 billion (USD 146 million) with a 0.5 percent interest rate per year to the Punjab provincial government of Pakistan. The money will be used for a microfinance facility that will provide interest-free loans to small enterprises in the province, which is home to approximately 90 million people. The Punjab government plans to provide an additional grant of PKR 5 billion (USD 49.9 million) to support the facility. The project reportedly is modeled after the Akhuwat Scheme, it will offer loans of the same size, and like the Akhuwat Scheme, this new facility will not accept deposits. As of July 2013, Akhuwat reported to the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) a gross loan portfolio of USD 15.1 million, approximately 140,000 active borrowers and operations in 162 branches across Pakistan.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: International Islamic Microfinance Seminar, July 1-2, 2013, Abuja, Nigeria

The "International Islamic Microfinance Seminar" was held in Abuja, Nigeria on July 1-2, 2013. This event focused on Nigeria’s Islamic microfinance and banking industry including topics relating developing and facilitating business models; poverty alleviation; financial inclusion; accounting and auditing standards; the regulatory and supervisory framework; technology; and opportunities in agriculture, livestock, renewable energy, microenterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises. Green Oasis Associates Limited (GOAL), a Nigeria-based international consulting firm, organized the seminar.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Microfinance Summit Pakistan 2013, July 8-10, Islamabad, Pakistan

The event "Microfinance Summit Pakistan 2013" will be held in Islamabad, Pakistan on July 8-10, 2013. This event focuses on topics relating to financial inclusion, microfinance investment vehicles, branchless banking, microinsurance, market segmentation, distribution channels for reaching poor people, and microfinance regulation and policy in Pakistan. It will be co-hosted by the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and the Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN). Although there is no cost to attend this event, registration is required. More information ist available on the event website http://www.mfs2013.com/.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kenya-based Gulf African Bank, African Guarantee Fund Partner to Lend $1.2m to Small, Medium-Sized Businesses

The African Guarantee Fund (AGF), reportedly has agreed to guarantee an unspecified portion of KES 100 million (USD 1.2 million) to be loaned by Gulf African Bank (GAB) to SMEs in Kenya. After the signing of the agreement, GAB Managing Director Asad Ahmed reportedly expressed his belief that the deal will help to increase the bank’s financing and risk management capabilities. AGF was established in Kenya in June 2012 with initial capital sufficient to issue partial guarantees of loans totaling USD 50 million. AGF has branches in nine African countries as of March 2013. As of March 2011, GAB had total assets of KES 9.6 billion (USD 112.3 million) and customer deposits of KES 8.2 billion (USD 96 million).

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: 8th Annual Clinton Global Initiative: Commitments to Financial Access, Global Citizen Awards Presented

The promotion of creativity and innovation to drive change through social investment and the empowerment of women, were the main topics of the 8th Annual Clinton Global Initiative that was concluded on September 26 in New York. As a result of discussions more than 150 new commitments to alleviate global poverty, create a cleaner environment and increase access to health care were announced. In the course of the conference, the former US president Bill Clinton had awarded six personalities for their outstanding contribution to solving global problems.

See more under: http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-8th-annual-clinton-global...

HSBC Allocates $2m for Distribution Via Microfinance Branches of PT Permodalan Nasional Madani (PNM) of Indonesia

HSBC Amanah Shariah wants to allocate USD 2.12 million through PT Permodalan Nasional Madani (PNM) for the development of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
The funds from HSBC to MSMEs will be chanelled through its Shariah-based microfinance branches.

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