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Nov 2014
UAE Fund to Provide $200 Mln in Loans to Microfinance Projects in Egypt
November, 24 2014
Egypt - A United Arab Emirates state investment fund announced on Monday it would provide $200 million in loans for microfinance projects in Egypt, a move it said would create more than 120,000 jobs by 2020 ...
South Africa Bitcoin Exchange Debuts Mobile Wallet
November, 24 2014
South Africa - South Africa’s largest Bitcoin exchange, BitX, has launched a Bitcoin mobile wallet that makes storing and using the cryptocurrency easier and safer for consumers in emerging markets ...
Bank of Tanzania: Rural Financial Markets Characterised by Decreasing Availability of Finances
November, 24 2014
Tanzania - The state of rural financial markets in Tanzania is characterised by low and decreasing availability of financing for both agricultural and non-agricultural activities. ...
Innovation in Developing Economies
November, 24 2014
Global - Innovation in developing economies is evolving rapidly, but can still improve in terms of marketing ...
Microcredit in Morocco: A Story of Highs and Lows
November, 23 2014
Morocco - According to the latest data from the World Bank on Morocco poverty, inequality and insecurity remain significant challenges. 6.3 million people, or one fifth of the total population, live just above the poverty line ...
Pakistan: Breaking Through - Microfinance Swiftly Gaining Ground
November, 23 2014
Pakistan - The moderate growth of the sector is helping new entrants like FINCA Microfinance bank to reasonably place itself among the top players of the sector in the short span of a year ...
Sri Lanka: LOLC Eyes Overseas Expansion for Micro Financing/SME
November, 23 2014
Sri Lanka - After the success in micro financing in Myanmar and Cambodia, the LOLC Group is poised to venture with similar operations to nearby regions, top officials say ...
Bangladesh: Inclusive Growth Hinges on Vibrant SMEs - Atiur
November, 22 2014
Bangladesh - In true sense, inclusive growth can only be achieved through a vibrant SME sector in a country like Bangladesh, the governor told a seminar titled SME Development: Role of an Effective SME Association in the capital on Saturday. ...
Bank Alfalah Brings Investment to Pakistan, Partners with IFC
November, 21 2014
Pakistan - Bank Alfalah has been a front runner in developing effective financial solutions for the country’s SME segment and has partnered with IFC previously to develop a comprehensive advisory package to implement its SME banking model ...
BIDV to Give $30 Million for Myanmar's SMEs
November, 21 2014
Myanmar - The Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BIDV) will lend US$30 million to Myanmar's Small and Medium-sized Industrial Development Bank (SMIDB) over five years ...
EBRD Aids Tajik, Kyrgyz Small Businesses
November, 20 2014
Central Asia - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) recently announced a number of programmes to aid small businesses in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. ...
How Can Group Loans be Provided more Responsibly?
November, 20 2014
Global - The popularity of the joint liability group (JLG) loan, attributable to its ability to deliver credit to households that lack collateral while achieving near-zero default rates, has led to the establishment of a large microcredit sector in many countries including India. However, repayment (or its lack thereof) presents an incomplete picture in assessing whether a JLG loan actually helped a customer achieve her original goals or improve her financial situation ...
Romania: Africa's Mobile Money Makes its Way to Europe with M-Pesa
November, 20 2014
Romania - Snapchat may be the latest application with a new mobile payment feature launched this week, but the idea that made Snapcash possible was spawned more than seven years ago in Africa ...
Pakistan: DFID, Gates Foundation to Set up Digital Financial Services Unit
November, 18 2014
Pakistan - The DFID and the Gates Foundation stressed their commitment to increase access to affordable and safe digital financial services for excluded groups and small and medium enterprises in Pakistan. ...
William Burckart, Independent Impact Investment Advisor: Rational Exuberance - The Momentum in Impact Investing is Real - But so Is the Need for Clarity about the Changes (and Challenges) Underway
November, 18 2014
Global - If impact investing is the “crazy uncle in the attic,” to use a memorable term from Mark Sloss of UBS Wealth Management Americas in the Money Management Institute’s special report on impact investing, the broader industry is struggling to find a way to set him free ...
Randall Kempner, Executive Director, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs: The Shift from Promotion to Pragmatism in Impact Investing
November, 18 2014
Global - With an estimated global market size of less than $100 billion today--a miniscule portion of total global managed assets--impact investing has a long way to go before it becomes mainstream. But, gone are the heady headlines proclaiming the birth of a trillion dollar asset class. Instead, we are seeing substantive attempts to overcome challenges to sector growth. ...
Jaime Aristotle Alip, Steve Hollingworth and Larry Reed: Microfinance Is the Key for the Philippines to Meet MDG 5
November, 18 2014
Philippines - So who will take up this challenge of combining health and microfinance? “MFIs for Health,” a consortium of 18 MFIs in the Philippines, has come together to break down access barriers to health care for their combined 4.4 million clients and their family members — about 20 million people ...
EBRD and Tajikistan Extend Cooperation
November, 18 2014
Tajikistan - The EBRD President will sign financing agreements with two companies in Tajikistan: the microfinance institution IMON International, which will use funds to increase lending to micro and small enterprises, and Schiever Tajikistan, which plans to open the first modern supermarket in the country ...
Mobile Money Interoperability is Not a Silver Bullet for Financial Inclusion
November, 17 2014
Global - Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI) can undoubtedly lend support to extending the reach of mobile money and growing its prevalence over cash. However, MMI can also pose significant risks for the attractiveness of the industry and halt the customer acquisition efforts ...
Ghana: Plans to Sanitise Microfinance Operations Underway
November, 16 2014
Ghana - The introduction of the code of conduct comes at a time the sector regulator, Bank of Ghana, is considering issuing directives on product transparency and a complaint or recourse mechanism as means to protect financial consumers ...
A Phoneful of Dollars
November, 15 2014
Global - The world’s poor need the stability and security that banks have traditionally offered, but increasingly they do not need banks to provide it. ...
Table Banking Lends Kenya's Women the Means to Beat the Poverty Trap
November, 14 2014
Kenya - In the Rift valley, women’s dreams of owning land is within reach thanks to loans from self-help groups that are beginning to change Kenya’s financial landscape ...
Egypt Issues First Microfinance Law
November, 14 2014
Egypt - Egypt issued its first law regulating micro-finance services, according to an announcement by the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) late on Thursday ...
Eric Hallstein, Camilla Seth, Dan Winterson: Can Impact Investing Help Save the Planet?
November, 13 2014
Global - A new cross-sector study examines whether impact investing can make a difference to global conservation efforts ...
Meeting the Challenge of Promoting Pro-poor Investment in Somaliland
November, 13 2014
Somaliland - Promoting investment presents its own set of challenges, but a flexible approach adapted to Somaliland's circumstances and culture has a good chance of success ...
India: RBI to Invite Applications for Small & Payment Banks by Month-end: Rajan
November, 13 2014
India - Reserve Bank of India will invite applications for setting up of small and payment banks -- aimed to cater to small businesses and low income households -- by the end of this month after putting in place final norms in this regard ...
Armenia, IFAD Sign $11mln Loan Agreement for Rural Development
November, 13 2014
Armenia - The program will target more than 66,000 beneficiaries, with a specific focus on women-headed households which are now more prominent as increasing numbers of men and young people are leaving rural areas in search of jobs ...
Raja Gopalakrishnan, COO of International for Fidelity Information Services: How Financial Inclusion Products & Services Evolved
November, 13 2014
Global - There are many examples around the world on how simple yet effective financial products and services have helped to raise the poverty line and improve living conditions. We discuss some of them here ...
Investing in MENA’s Entrepreneurs: What is Really Needed?
November, 12 2014
MENA - The Middle East and North Africa is in dire need of entrepreneurial growth and opportunities. With countries needing to create millions of jobs, new enterprises that do not simply start but grow can play an instrumental role in the region’s employment agenda while also supporting other regional goals such as economic diversification ...
India: Bridging the Last Mile - Evaluation of Mobile Phone- Based Agricultural Extension
November, 12 2014
India - Extension delivered via information and communication technologies (ICTs) have the potential to revolutionize the cost and efficacy with which information reaches farmers, overcoming many of the limitations of traditional extension delivered through government extension workers ...
Zimbabwe: FAO Sets up $43 Million Facility
November, 12 2014
Zimbabwe - "The programme will contribute to poverty reduction through increased incomes and improved food security and nutrition among vulnerable smallholder families in eight targeted districts," said FAO in a statement ...
India: Analysts Give Thumbs-up to New NBFC Norms; Question on HFCs
November, 12 2014
India - The new rules of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) will help in strengthening balance sheets but impact profitability, analysts said a day after the central bank announced regulatory changes, although the three-and-half year transition period gives them enough leeway ...
Bangladesh: Most Mobile Payment Agents Profitable - Study
November, 11 2014
Bangladesh - Ninety-six percent of mobile payment agents in Bangladesh are making profits, thanks to low operational costs, a testament to how popular the service has become in just a few years, according to a study ...
Credit for All: Increasing Women's Access to Finance
November, 11 2014
Global - More than 2.5 billion people worldwide lack access to quality financial services, and at least half are women. Yet women’s need for financial services may actually exceed that of men because they tend to live longer, have lower levels of formal employment, own fewer assets, and have less control over household finances. Limited financial inclusion is one important factor keeping women poor and perpetuating inequality ...
Study Shows $2.5 Billion Handled in Cote d’Ivoire E-money System in 2013
November, 10 2014
Ivory Coast - The study, based on new market data from the BCEAO, highlights the market’s strong performance and potential for increasing access to affordable financial services for low income households, small-scale businesses and in hard-to-reach rural areas ...
USAID Administrator Announces Financial Inclusion Commitments in India
November, 10 2014
India - At the completion of a two-day trip to India on November 4-5, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah announced USAID support for three priority areas of partnership as identified in the recent summit between Prime Minister Modi and President Barak Obama in Washington ...
Pakistan: Financial Infrastructure Requires Development to Increase Penetration
November, 09 2014
Pakistan - The overall financial penetration is low in Pakistan, and the financial infrastructure requires development to bring it at par with other well-performing markets in the region, said Ghalib Nishtar, president of the Khushhali Bank Limited ...
Karen Newman and Sahba Sobhani: Philippines - Four Ways to Build an Ecosystem to Support Business in Low-income Markets
November, 07 2014
Philippines - The Philippines has proven itself an excellent example of a nation’s capacity to overcome market constraints and support ecosystem development – a model that could easily be replicated in other countries. ...
Philippines: IFC Approves $30-M Loan to RCBC for SME Financing
November, 07 2014
Philippines - The International Finance Corp. (IFC) has approved a medium-term loan of up to $30 million to Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) for the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including women-led businesses, spur job creation, as well as help support Super Typhoon Yolanda-affected SMEs ...
India: Equitas Holdings to Offload about 40% Stake for Rs 325 Crore
November, 07 2014
India - Existing investors IFC, CDC and FMO will own 13%, 9%, and 5%, respectively, while new investors DEG and Creations together will hold 11% ...
“Africa Needs Africa”: MasterCard & Bank of Tanzania Push for Local Solutions
November, 07 2014
Africa - Zahir Khoja, VP, global channels at MasterCard, said Africa is attractive as an untapped opportunity and warned many companies which think they can implement a “plug and play solution” without realising that “sometimes there is no socket” to do this. Instead they need to understand that an African-specific solution is needed ...
Ted London and Colm Fay, William Davidson Institute: Launching a Roadmap to Guide the Base of the Pyramid Domain
November, 06 2014
Global - A new ‘action agenda’ for base of the pyramid businesses presents four key initiatives to guide and enhance development of the domain over the next decade ...
Five Bright Ideas for Responsible Digital Finance
November, 06 2014
Global - Delivery of financial services via mobiles, cards and other digital means is growing at a blistering pace in some markets. In Bangladesh, for example, annual growth in the number of mobile money users, agents and transaction volumes is averaging over 500 percent ...
Revamped 2014 Global Microscope Calls for Comprehensive Strategies for Financial Inclusion
November, 06 2014
Global - The Global Microscope 2014 is the first edition that goes beyond microfinance to rank countries on the wider goal of financial inclusion, evaluating the conditions and enablers of expanded access to finance. ...
India: Inclusion by Mobile
November, 06 2014
India - This case study looks at how M-Pesa, a service that originated in Kenya, was tweaked for India and whether it can succeed ...
Latin America and the Caribbean: Deficit in Financing of SMEs in Latam Exceeds $125 Billion
November, 05 2014
Latin America and the Caribbean - The deficit in financing of small and medium-sized enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean is estimated to be between $125 billion and $155 billion, the Inter-American Investment Corporation, IIC, has reported ...
Client Protection Remains Top Priority for Microfinance Institutions in Latin America
November, 05 2014
Latin America - The Smart Campaign, a global initiative to incorporate strong client protection practices across the microfinance industry, today celebrates the recent certification of six Latin American microfinance institutions at the occasion of the Foromic, the largest annual industry gathering for the region ...
India: SKS Microfinance’s Now the Toast of Smart Investors
November, 05 2014
India - Why are some of the smartest investors on Dalal Street like Prof Shivanand Mankekar and Amal Parekh along with a few FIIs, buying shares of Hyderabad-based SKS Microfinance, a stock that many, till a year ago, considered untouchable ...
South Africa: Banking Growth Has Not Boosted Savings – Survey
November, 05 2014
South Africa - The number of banked South Africans has grown to 27.4 million over the past ten years, or about 75% of the total adult population, according to research from FinMark Trust ...
European Investment Bank Supports Uganda’s Housing Finance Bank
November, 04 2014
Uganda - Long term lender, the European Investment Bank has extended Shs 45bn (EUR 13 million) credit line to Uganda’s indigenous bank, Housing Finance Bank for the latter to lend out to local firms especially small and medium enterprises ...
South Asia: Economies of Micro-Finance
November, 04 2014
South Asia - Micro-finance institutions (MFIs) in Bangladesh and elsewhere have long been catering mostly to needs of non-farm activities. The reasons are perhaps not far to seek: seasonal activity as agriculture is, the question of weekly repayment in instalment and interest rate emerges as a binding constraint. ...
India: Venture Capital Firm Lok Cap Looks to Raise up to Rs 600 Crore
November, 03 2014
India - Venture capital firm Lok Capital, which is focused on bottom of pyramid investments, is raising its third fund that will look to mobilise up to $100 million (about Rs 600 crore) for companies ...
Impact Accelerator Launched in the Philippines
November, 03 2014
Philippines - Impact Investment Exchange Asia (“IIX”) has launched its first Impact Accelerator programme in the Philippines, an intensive in-country programme designed to accelerate early-stage social enterprises (SEs) that have high potentials to create positive social and environmental impact at scale ...
Impact White Washing?: When any Deal in a Developing Country with a Few Generic Metrics can be Considered Impactful
November, 03 2014
Global - For those who are passionate about the potential for impact investing, and seek to achieve social, economic and environmental justice, standardised metrics don’t define a good deal for us. We just “know it when we see it.” But that doesn’t necessarily build the new, cohesive financial system that many of us hope to see ...
India: SKS Trust Divests Remaining Stake in SKS Microfinance for $27.8M
November, 03 2014
India - Biksham Gujja-led SKS Trust Advisors Private Limited has sold its remaining stake holding in India’s lone listed micro-lender SKS Microfinance Limited, by selling a little over 4 per cent equity stake in the company for around Rs 171 crore ($27.8 million) through open market transactions ...
Tanzania: CRDB, European Bank Sign Sh43bn Deal
November, 03 2014
Tanzania - CRDB Bank and European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed a landmark 20 million Euros (about 43bn/-) agreement to support small scale businesses ...

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