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Upcoming missions and events – Quarter 4, 2015

During the upcoming quarter, MFR’s team will be visiting the following countries: Bolivia, Cambodia, Colombia, Ecuador, Georgia, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Peru, Romania, UK, Zambia, among others.

Moreover, we will be participating to the following events:


Follow us on LinkedIn for updates and important news from the microfinance sector.



MicroFinanza Rating and CDC Group for a Client Protection workshop

On July 6th MicroFinanza Rating carried out a Client Protection Workshop for CDC Group in London. As part of the technical committee of SMART Campaign Certification Task Force and Certifier licensed by SMART Campaign to conduct Client Protection Certification, MicroFinanza Rating was invited to train CDC investment teams on how to more effectively integrate the client protection principles into their investment and monitoring process, learning best practices and presenting and discussing specific case studies. Representatives from other European Development Finance institutions also attended, many of which are co-invested with CDC in microfinance institutions in Africa and Asia. MFR was represented by Chiara Pescatori and Joris Crisà, both key experts in client protection.

CDC is the UK's Development Finance Institution (DFI), wholly owned by the UK Government. CDC's mission is to support the building of businesses throughout Africa and South Asia. CDC's portfolio of investments is valued at £3.4bn (EUR 4.7bn, year end 2014) and includes 1,331 investee businesses. CDC invests in a variety of sectors as well as microfinance, including manufacturing, agribusiness, infrastructure, construction, health and education.

"The training provided valuable insight into how investors can support the institutions they support to ensure their products better serve low-income clients. Hearing first hand examples of good practice and case studies really bought the client protection principles to life and provided us with tools to use in our investment process going forward"

Rebecca Forecast
CDC’s Environmental and Social Responsibility team 

Find more on CDC Group here.

MFR-led consortium launches implementation of EaSI TA

MicroFinanza Rating is pleased to announce that ratings and assessments of European microfinance providers are officially underway. This means the EaSI Technical Assistance has reached implementation stage. The first MIR has been completed last week in Romania. During the last quarter of 2015, several assignments will be executed in Romania, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Hungary and UK.
MicroFinanza Rating will participate in the upcoming MFC Conference (Prague, 4-6 November) to give an overview of the applied methodology.

Finca Azerbaijan is certified in Client Protection

MicroFinanza Rating, Client Protection Certifier licensed by the SMART Campaign, is glad to announce that Finca Azerbaijan has been certified in Client Protection. Finca Azerbaijan has demonstrated to accomplish with all the Certification standards derived from the seven client protection principles.

Finca Azerbaijan was founded in 1998 and today it is the biggest of Finca International's subsidiaries.
It operates through 65 service outlets all over the country, with a total outreach of 145,292 clients and a loan portfolio of $177M. The FI has been certified in the framework of a consortium with Planet Rating and Finca International.
For further details on the exercise, see the "SMART Certification" section of our website.

Application deadline for Responsible Microfinance Facility Initiative

The next Steering Committee of the Responsible Microfinance Facility (RMF) will take place at the end of September 2015; the due date for submissions is September 10th. The RMF is a three-year initiative, launched in January 2015 and funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD). The purpose of the RMF is to strengthen capacity and social performance management (SPM) practices of financial institutions in Africa and the Middle East.

The RMF will offer trainings and provide co-financing to financial institutions for certain activities, among others: SPI4 assessment, client protection assessment, Smart Certification and/or Social Rating.

Visit the RMF webpage to download the application form.

MicroFinanza Rating participated to the first Smart Campaign’s Certification Summit

As part of the technical committee of Smart Campaign Certification Task Force and Certifier licensed by Smart Campaign to conduct Client Protection Certification, MicroFinanza Rating has recently attended the first ever Certification Summit, held in Turin last week.
The purpose of the event was to bring together client protection certified MFIs and other microfinance experts to discuss with one another their experiences with certification and their practices to be aligned to the Seven Client Protection Principle.
Rating agencies have been confirmed as crucial actors for the entire process.

Read more about the Summit on the Center for Financial Inclusion Blog. Here the link to the article "Three Cheers for the Smart Campaign's Certification Summit" (Author: Anne H. Hastings, Manager, Microfinance CEO Working Group).

BCC EmilBanca is the first Italian bank to be awarded with a Social Rating by MFR

MicroFinanza Rating has finalized the first social rating standard of the Italian bank Emil Banca, which was awarded with a high A- (on a six rating scale: D, C, B, BB, A, AA), meaning "Good social performance management and client protection systems. High likelihood of achieving its social mission". 

Emil Banca is a full-fledged cooperative bank supervised by the Bank of Italy. It is a small-scale bank with over 25K active borrowers (mainly SMEs) and €1,709 million Gross Loan Portfolio. Emil Banca has already participated to EU Jasmine program (Assessment plus TA facilities) and has borrowed € 3 million from the European Investment Fund to on-lend to microenterprises. 

For further information on our Social Rating methodology, click here.

Upcoming missions and events – Quarter 3, 2015

During the upcoming quarter, MicroFinanza Rating team will be visiting the following countries: Uganda, Rwanda, Cameroon, Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia, among others.

Moreover, we will be participating to the following events:


Follow us on LinkedIn for updates and important news from the microfinance sector.


RIM created the Risk Management Graduation Model

The Risk Management Initiative in Microfinance (RIM) built a Risk Management Graduation Model (RMGM) a pathways-based, best practice standard for risk management in the microfinance sector and is now finalizing the diagnostic tool. Through a diagnostic process, MFIs can assess their current risk management systems, structures, and capabilities against the RMGM and determine their adherence to best practice risk management standards applicable to their institutional tier level.

RIM is a collaboration of organizations with a vested interest in raising the standards of risk management in the microfinance industry. It aims at contributing to the development of awareness, best practices, and appropriate standards for risk management in microfinance globally.

Read the Position Paper (March 2015): "Toward a Consistent and Appropriate Risk Management Framework for MFIs".
Author: Karla Brom (RIM).

Read the Technical Paper (July 2015): "Risk Management Graduation Model for Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)".
Authors: Giovanni Calvi Parisetti and Evrim Kirimkan.
Evrim Kirimkan is MFR's Regional Manager for Latin America and he has a great expertise in risk management in microfinance. Giovanni Calvi Parisetti has also worked for MFR and has been a key member for the development of MFR in Latin America.

Microfinanza Srl, represented by Massimo Vita, is a founding and active member of the RIM. Massimo, also active shareholder of MF Rating, is a Steering Committee and Technical Working Group member of the Initiative since inception.

MFR at the First Certification Summit, 30-31 July, Turin

MicroFinanza Rating is now participating in the first Certification Summit, a learning and networking event that is attended by currently-certified MFIs and takes place on July 30/31st in Turin.

The Summit aims at promoting discussion and sharing of best practices among certified organizations.

MFR supports the “Financial Sector Programme Value Chain Agro Finance” in Kyrgyzstan

MicroFinanza Rating has been selected as consultant by the Kyrgyz Minister of Finance, KfW and European Investment Bank (EIB) within the framework of the initiative "Financial Sector Programme Value Chain Agro Finance" in Kyrgyzstan. Thanks to its expertise, MFR will be in charge of the screening and the selection of Partner Financial Institutions (PFIs) that will join the Programme.
MFR has prepared an evaluation scheme according to the programme's TOR and on the shortlisted PFIs will conduct due diligence assessments and recommend up to seven most promising PFIs to implement the Programme.

The project is a joint initiative of the Kyrgyz Ministry of Finance, KfW and EIB with the goal to enhance agri-food value chain competitiveness by increasing the availability of long-term finance in local currency (up to EUR 48 M) for agricultural equipment and machinery.

The kick-off meeting on launching the project is scheduled for the 30th of July 2015 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Further news will follow on the progress of the Agro Finance Programme, with more details about selected PFIs.

ASKI awarded SMART Certification at MCPI Conference

As Client Protection Certifier, licensed by the SMART Campaign, MicroFinanza Rating is happy to announce that a Certificate has been awarded to ASKI – Philippines . ASKI has demonstrated compliance with all the Certification standards derived from the seven client protection principles. The mission of ASKI is to promote socio-economic development through client-focused financial and non-financial services anchored on Christian principles.
As such, today ASKI operates through 72 branches throughout the country and serves 7,794 groups, with a total outreach of 136,224 people.
An awarding ceremony will be held tomorrow at the MCPI Conference.

ASKI's Client Protection Certification was implemented in the framework of a MoU signed between Opportunity International and MFR.

For further details on the Methodology used by MicroFinanza Rating, see the "SMART Certification" section of our website.

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