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Dec 2011
Small Business Story of the Year: The Rise of Alternative Lending
December, 30 2011
United States - Supporting small business was among the top economic stories of the year, and the rise in lending to those growing companies was the most important development in 2011 ...
Philippines: BSP Raises Ceiling on Micro-Credit
December, 29 2011
Manila, Philippines - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has raised the existing cap on microfinance loans to allow banks to provide more financing to clients ...
Bangladesh: Yunus Seeks Review of Dismissal Verdict
December, 29 2011
Bangladesh - Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus today sought a review of an apex court verdict that unseated him earlier this year from his position as the chief of the Grameen Bank, the pioneering micro lending agency he had founded three decades ago ...
Gambia: The Results of First Research On Remittances in the Country
December, 28 2011
Banjul, Gambia - Women's World Banking Research has shown that its purpose is to promote the development of remittance products for customers of microfinance institutions in the Gambia, especially women, and exploring opportunities in the vibrant, untapped Gambian remittance market ...
India: 10 Million Poor Rural Borrowers in Andhra Pradesh may Soon be Labelled Defaulters
December, 28 2011
Hyderabad, India - Even as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) attempts to address a large part of the concerns of the Andhra Pradesh government pertaining to the microfinance sector through a comprehensive regulatory framework, millions of rural poor borrowers in the state are running the risk of losing access to formal credit ...
Microfinance: Is it Time to Write off Group Loans?
December, 23 2011
London, United Kingdom - Microfinance institutions across the world are moving from group lending to individual lending. Yet, there is not much rigorous evidence on the borrower impact of both types of microcredit to either support or challenge such a strategic shift. This column presents such evidence from a randomised field experiment in Mongolia ...
New Success Model for Microfinance: A Matter of Trust
December, 21 2011
Boston, US - Professor Bill Dickens and Matt Jordan, AS '11, are using game theory to gain a better understanding of the economics of microlending and why it is more successful in some countries. ...
India: Microfinance Lenders Can Now Borrow Up To $10M From Abroad
December, 20 2011
Mumbai, India - The Indian central bank has eased the norms for local microfinance institutions (MFIs) – so that these may raise funds through overseas borrowings. On the face of it, the move is positive for the MFI sector which is, otherwise, beset with regulatory issues and a largely ambivalent domestic fundraising environment. But the quantum of money that an MFI can scoop up outside India is too paltry to make much of a difference for the large players ...
Kyrgyzstan: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Arranges the First Syndicated Loan in the Kyrgyz Republic in Local Currency
December, 16 2011
London, UK - The EBRD is continuing its efforts to develop local currency lending and local currency capital markets by arranging the first ever syndicated loan in the Kyrgyz Republic, which is also the first syndicated loan in the local currency (som). Micro loans in som will help entrepreneurs in remote areas avoid exchange rate risks. ...
UK Launches Pro-Poor Private Investment Programme in India with Small Industries Development Bank of India
December, 16 2011
New Delhi, India - The UK has launched private sector development programme in India with a commitment of 65 million pound (Rs 520 crore) in partnership with the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). 'Samridhi' aims to help the poor in low income states get access to financial services to improve their income and quality of life as well as by promoting responsible and sustainable private sector investment, British International Development Minister Andrew Mitchell said here ...
Two additional Microfinance Investment Vehicles obtain LuxFLAG Microfinance Label
December, 15 2011
Luxembourg - LuxFLAG is pleased to announce that two new microfinance investment vehicles have been granted the LuxFLAG Microfinance Label. These are the Azure Global Microfinance Fund SICAV‐SIF and responsAbility SICAV (Lux) Financial Inclusion Fund ...
Zimbabwe: Wholesale Funding Scheme Launched
December, 15 2011
Washington DC, US - CBZ Bank and the Zimbabwe Microfinance Wholesale Trust have launched a wholesale funding scheme to financial service providers for on lending to small-scale enterprises. The funding scheme is expected to give impetus to the small and medium enterprises to recapitalise their operations ...
Microfinance: Industry Urged to Refocus On Poverty
December, 14 2011
New York, US - Sharia-compliant retail products now come in every shape and size. From mortgages to insurance and even the Islamic credit card, the choice and availability for Muslims seeking religiously compliant finance has never been greater. But one sector that has continued to lag behind is microfinance. ...
Microfinance Provides the Perfect Partner for Sustainable Development
December, 12 2011
Brussels, Belgium - Renewables offer an important solution for the energy needs of poor communities.The most significant barrier to the wide-spread adoption of these technologies is their upfront costs. This is why microfinance makes such an ideal partner for renewables – providing loans for the upfront costs that can be paid back over-time ...
Small Wonder: A New Model of Microfinance for the Very Poor is Spreading
December, 10 2011
St Louis, US - Ms Kwei is one of millions of poor people to have benefited from the hottest trend in microfinance: village savings and loans associations. Millions of people like her survive on meagre and erratic earnings. Access to the simplest financial services can help stabilise their incomes, which in turn makes them less vulnerable to diseases and natural disasters. ...
The Arab Spring: Risks and Opportunities for Microfinance in the Middle East & North Africa Region
December, 08 2011
Washington, US - For decades MFIs in the region had been tackling issues linked to poverty and economic development. The Arab Spring comes with a mix of hopes and fears. After several years of efforts to overcome risks linked to client protection, a new reputation risk lies ahead as high expectations are put into microfinance as a tool to fight unemployment. ...
The UN Capital Development Fund Explores Link Between Microfinance and Social Protection
December, 08 2011
Washington, US - Last week, the UN Capital Development Fund hosted a high-level Thinkshop entitled “How can microfinance extend Social Protection in Asian Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs)?”. The event offered insight into new and potentially revolutionary role that microfinance institutions (MFIs) might play in helping protect the extreme poor through products that kickstart savings as opposed to causing debt ...
Thunell’s Vision for Microfinance
December, 08 2011
London, UK - IFC is working with 110 MFIs in more than 50 countries. Its investee clients had an outstanding portfolio of nearly 8 million loans as of June 2011, worth just under $12.6 billion. Yet the feeling internally is that much more can be done; at best, microfinance reaches less than 20% of its potential market ...
India: SKS Moves Away From Microloans, Boosts Other Areas
December, 07 2011
Mumbai, India - Industry bellwether SKS Microfinance said Wednesday it will ramp up and eventually spin off its growing non-microfinance business, sending the stock price soaring as the beleaguered lender struggles to reinvent itself. The company, once India's largest microlender, has been at the center of an industry wide controversy over how to balance the needs of poor borrowers with the demands of investors ...
Ecuador Expanding Access to Microcredit for Low-Income Women
December, 07 2011
Chicago, US - Ecuador will expand access to microcredit, particularly among low-income women, through a $50 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) aimed at increasing employment opportunities and reducing poverty ...
Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan: Central Asia - Micro matters
December, 05 2011
London, UK - Microfinance has problems: that’s understood. There are those who feel it encourages inescapable indebtedness; that its interest rates are intolerably high; and that lenders lack governance or prudence. But what if it wasn’t there? To find out, Euromoney travelled to two of the world’s least-visited nations, the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, to meet the lenders and clients of microfinance. ...
The MicroPlace Ambition: Unleashing $35 Billion in Financial Services Funding to the World's Working Poor
December, 04 2011
New York, US - In an interview with Ashwini Narayanan, General Manager of MicroPlace, we discussed the origin and evolution of the company, the nature of social impact investing and microfinance, organizational milestones of recent past, and how to convince the average investor of the enormous potential of impact investing ...
India: The Reserve Bank of India Starts a New Lender Clan
December, 03 2011
Mumbai, India - The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has put out guidelines for a new category of non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), which would be involved only in micro lending. The microfinance industry believes the guidelines will bring in more transparency. ...
Pakistan: State Bank of Pakistan to Promote Microfinance Banking
December, 02 2011
Karachi, Pakistan - Yaseen Anwar, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Friday said the central bank has laid down a detailed strategy to promote sustainable growth of the microfinance sector in its new Microfinance Strategic Framework 2011-15, which will foster a pro-poor and sustainable development in the country ...
Scaling Up Formal Savings: Lessons From The SEEP Annual Conference
December, 01 2011
Washington, US - Shifting from a credit-centric mentality toward integrating savings into long-term institutional strategies is a process that requires flexibility. Adjustments must be made to regulations in order to meet know-your-customer requirements for minors without IDs, and information systems should be tweaked as well to effectively monitor and evaluate outcomes of savings to various bottom lines ...
Desjardins Launches Microfinance Support Fund
December, 01 2011
Toronto, Canada - Desjardins Group has launched the Desjardins Fund for Inclusive Finance, an investment fund aimed at developing the microfinance sector in emerging or developing countries. With initial funding of $5 million and eventual full funding of $10 million, the Desjardins Fund for Inclusive Finance will have a ten-year term with a possible two-year extension ...
Feature: Increasing SMEs Access to Formal Financing
December, 01 2011
Accra, Ghana - The role of SMEs in driving the economic development process of their home countries is not in doubt. Removing the obstacles to access for SMEs to finance requires that commercial banks, microcredit institutions, community groups and business development services SMEs, expanding the financial sector and strengthening links between firms will permanently increase SMEs' access to finance ...

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