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Grameen Bank to open Indianapolis branch

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Bangladesh-based Grameen Bank, which is known for providing microloans to the poor, plans to open a branch in Indianapolis this summer.

The Central Indiana Community Foundation and venture capitalist Tom Hiatt have led the effort to bring the bank to the city. A year ago, CICF hosted a meeting of potential donors and raised the $6 million needed to open a branch.

That includes multiyear grants of $500,000 from the Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF subsidiary, and the Glick Family Fund, as well as a one-time grant of $150,000 from the Efroymson Family Fund.

Grameen, which was founded by a Bangladeshi professor in 1976, has loaned $6.8 billion to 7.5 million borrowers, most of whom are women. The bank typically loans $1,500 or less to people who live below the poverty line, allowing them to kick-start tiny businesses.

The $6 million will help underwrite local startup costs and lending.

The bank will begin site-scouting in Indianapolis this month. Its other U.S. branches are in New York and Omaha, Neb.

Grameen is also planning to open branches in Charlotte, N.C., Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.

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  1. PJ - Mall operators like Simon, and most developers/ land owners, establish individual legal entities for each property to avoid having a problem location sink the ship, or simply structure the note to exclude anything but the property acting as collateral. Usually both. The big banks that lend are big boys that know the risks and aren't mad at Simon for forking over the deed and walking away.

  2. Do any of the East side residence think that Macy, JC Penny's and the other national tenants would have letft the mall if they were making money?? I have read several post about how Simon neglected the property but it sounds like the Eastsiders stopped shopping at the mall even when it was full with all of the national retailers that you want to come back to the mall. I used to work at the Dick's at Washington Square and I know for a fact it's the worst performing Dick's in the Indianapolis market. You better start shopping there before it closes also.

  3. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  4. If you only knew....

  5. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

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