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>> FMI Awarded USAID Contract to Promote Diaspora Investment in BiH

USAID/Bosnia and Herzegovina awarded FMI a new five-year contract to implement the Harnessing BiH Diaspora for Economic Development Activity. This program will create new job opportunities across a range of sectors through increased diaspora investment, with an emphasis on providing capital to viable, but underfunded, SMEs and startups. FMI is working to improve the diaspora investment policy environment, designing and operating the BiH Diaspora Marketplace grant program, and developing a sustainable diaspora investment platform to provide business services and link investors and businesses.

>> FMI Awarded USAID/Indonesia Inclusive Workforce Development Cooperative Agreement

USAID/Indonesia awarded FMI a five-year Cooperative Agreement on February 28, 2017. This USAID-funded Activity is called “YouthWin Through Economic Particpation (YEP)”. YEP will drive a systemic change in how, where, and what economic skills are taught to empower poor and vulnerable youth in Indonesia. FMI has partnered with the International Youth Foundation (IYF), Global Economic Education Alliance (GEEA), and several local partners, including Indonesia’s Securities Commission, the Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK), to implement this Activity. For more information, contact FMI’s Program Manager for YEP, Nick Kennedy at nkennedy@fmi-inc.net.  

>> FMI Awarded USAID/Kosovo Credit Guarantee Fund Contract

USAID/Kosovo awarded FMI a three-year, $4,795,994 contract, on June 10, 2014. This USAID project focuses on increasing investment and employment by mobilizing bank lending to SME private businesses. FMI is working to establish a sustainable, public-private, credit guarantee company (Kosovo Credit Support Facility) to increase credit availability to SMEs, and in particular those SMEs owned by women or young entrepreneurs. FMI will use its proprietary Global Financial Bridge IT system to monitor all financial institutions lending procedures via the KCSF. In coordination with the Central Bank of Kosovo, FMI will address licensing, regulation, and oversight issues. This project will seek to lower reserve requirements for KCSF-guaranteed loans, in compliance with Basel II and III, to help achieve the 10-year goal of 400 million in fresh capital. FMI will aid KCSF in conducting market research and public outreach to tailor programs towards SMEs and banks. FMI will train bankers and SME owners on activities such as partial loan guarantees, cash flow analysis, benchmarking principles, and merged communications. This training will make possible more efficient and increased lending operations. FMI will engage in the development of new financial products such as value chain products, medium size business products, and early-stage products for start-ups. By the end of the third year, the project objective is to have facilitated the transition of the KCSF to a stable portfolio guarantee facility, managed 100% locally. The goal is to create 5,000 jobs, increase the SME share of GDP, and to see interest rate and loan size competition among banks.

>> USAID Technology Award to FMI: ESCRIN System Wins Pioneers Prize (January 2014)

The USAID Office of Science and Technology recognized FMI’s groundbreaking development of the Electronic System for Comprehensive Information Disclosure (ESCRIN) in Ukraine. Modelled after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR system, ESCRIN is an innovative technology “point solution” that has become a catalyst for sustained capital market development, and prudent regulation to root-out corruption and market manipulation. ESCRIN was developed through a successful partnership between USAID, FMI, the Securities and Stock Market National Commission (SSMNC), the Ukrainian securities exchanges, broker-dealers, accounting professionals, and leading corporations. It was the first such information disclosure system in Eastern Europe, and has served as a model for the region. USAID’s inaugural Pioneers Prize recognized FMI’s innovative use of technology over the course of three USAID economic growth projects: (i) Capital Markets Project (CMP, 2005 to 2010); (ii)) Financial Sector Development Project (FINREP, 2009 to 2012); and (iii) the current FINREP-II Project (2012 to 2017). This award was made to 14 Projects worldwide among hundreds of entries. FMI was the only financial sector firm selected for award.

>> USAID Funds FMI Designed Women’s SME Entrepreneurship Program

The USAID Office of Gender & Women’s Empowerment recently awarded FMI special funding to implement the Growth of Women’s Business and Leadership Program (“Go Women”) in Ukraine. Go Women is a three-year pilot project designed to expand women’s economic opportunities, leadership skills, social independence, and public engagement. This innovative FMI designed program combines training, capacity building, and financial literacy with expanded access to finance for female entrepreneurs and women-owned SMEs. As part of the project, FMI will use its proprietary Global Financial Bridge software application across Ukraine. USAID is funding this program through its Women’s Leadership Incentive Fund, and selected the FMI and Ukraine Mission jointly-designed “Go Women” project after a worldwide competition for innovative approaches to promoting gender equality and expanded opportunities for women. 

>> FMI Policy Paper on India’s Commodity Transaction Tax

FMI published a comprehensive policy briefing on India’s proposed commodity transaction tax (CTT). The paper considered the likely economic effects of the tax, as well as the past experiences of similar taxes applied in other nations, concluding that India’s CTT would likely deter beneficial commodity trading and fail to generate revenues. This paper was widely circulated and discussed among India’s business and political communities. The Wall Street Journal Asia published FMI CEO Charles Seeger’s analysis. | Read the full paper | Read the WSJ Asia article

>> FMI Wins USAID/Ukraine FINREP-II

In late 2012, USAID/Ukraine awarded the five-year, $12.4 million FINREP-II contract to FMI. FINREP-II focuses on increasing financial sector stability and restoring public trust in Ukraine’s financial markets through the provision of a wide range of financial services. FMI is working to strengthen financial sector regulation, develop financial and derivatives markets, and expand financial literacy and education across Ukraine. FINREP-II represents the sixth USAID/Ukraine financial sector development project implemented by FMI since 1996.

>> FMI Completes World Bank Regulatory Reform Project in Moldova 

FMI wrapped-up its successful implementation of the World Bank’s Secondary Normative Framework Under the Law on Capital Markets project in Moldova. In collaboration with a local Moldovan law firm, FMI drafted 36 securities regulations and accompanying comments for the Moldovan National Commission of Financial Markets. The Project improved the legal, regulatory, and institutional framework for financial sector operations, and ensured compliance with EU Directives, international best practices, and Moldovan law.

>> FMI and House Democracy Partnership Send Experts to Macedonia and Kosovo

As part of USAID’s Technical Assistance and Training to Support Legislatures program, awarded under the International Legislative Strengthening IQC, FMI worked with the U.S. House of Representatives Democracy Partnership to send a team of legislative experts to Skopje, Macedonia and Priština, Kosovo. The team met with key Parliamentarians, assessed legislative research capabilities, and provided policy analysis training seminars.   

>> Business Standard Publishes Antitrust Analysis by FMI Chairman & CEO Charles Seeger

In Business Standard, one of India’s most influential financial newspapers, Charles Seeger analyzed a recent Competition Commission of India judgment against the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE). The case involved the unlawful and predatory tactics used by the NSE to deter market entry and impede the growth of its main competitor, the Multi Commodity Exchange-Stock Exchange. As Mr. Seeger wrote: “The NSE’s conduct is a textbook example of predatory pricing and abuse of a dominant position. The NSE now joins the lore of ignominy of giant companies that have violated antitrust laws in the face of rising competition." | Read the full article

>> FMI Publishes Comprehensive Paper on Foreign Currency Risk Management in Ukraine

As part of FMI’s USAID FINREP program in Ukraine, FMI’s Chairman & CEO Charles Seeger authored a comprehensive report on foreign currency risk management in Ukraine. FMI prepared the paper for the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) to outline the importance of and opportunities created by prudential foreign currency risk management. FMI recommended a strategy for the NBU that would gradually permit liberalized derivatives trading through a legal and regulatory regime based on licensing, monitoring and enforcement, and education and training. This effort was coordianted with the IMF. | Read the full report

 

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