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Jun 2011
Mobile Banking to Help 2 bln People by 2020: Study
June, 28 2011
Frankfurt, Germany - Mobile financial services are expected to improve the lives of around 2 billion people in developing countries within a decade and boost economies, a Boston Consulting Group study found ...
South Africa: Microfinance Can Help Rural Communities Adapt to Climate Change
June, 27 2011
Cape Town, South Africa - Projects to fight climate change are being designed all around the world. But only five percent of them can be financed with the current international funds available, which means resources have to be used more wisely. Microfinance could be one solution. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges to development that the world has ever faced ...
IFC Invests $35m for Finca Loan Expansion
June, 26 2011
Washington DC, USA - The International Finance Corporation is making its largest single equity investment into microfinance, channelling $35m to jump-start an investment partnership to expand the reach of Finca International, one of the world’s oldest and largest organisations providing small loans to the poor. ...
Wall Street Must Wake Up to Impact Investing
June, 24 2011
Santa Monica, California - Nearly 40% of affluent investors would like to know more about impact investing — getting a financial reward while benefitting the world — but don’t receive any recommendations from their financial advisors. ...
How Much Profit is “Responsible”?
June, 23 2011
Washington DC - What is responsible financial performance? In other words, “How much private gain is appropriate for organizations serving the poor?” The Social Performance Task Force (SPTF), meeting this week in Den Bosch, the Netherlands, is putting this controversial question on the microfinance industry’s agenda – opening a debate that is sure to be both complex and emotionally-lade ...
India: Janalakshmi Financial Services Raises $14 mln in 3rd Round of PE Funding
June, 22 2011
Bangalore, India - Janalakshmi Financial Services, a Bangalore based NBFC Microfinance Institution promoted by Ramesh Ramanathan, announced the raise of capital as part of its Series C round ...
American Offshoots: Will Microfinance Ever Really Take Root in the U.S.?
June, 17 2011
Philadelphia, USA - Today, the U.S. is home to 362 MFIs in the country -- some imported and others that are homegrown. Whether these institutions can thrive in the U.S. by providing small-dollar loans and other banking products remains to be seen. With an entirely different regulatory environment and cultural context than in the developing countries where MFIs have their roots, small-dollar lending to the very poor in the U.S. is tricky for all parties involved ...
The Future Of Microfinance: Q&A With Women’s World Banking CEO Mary Ellen Iskenderian
June, 16 2011
New York, USA - The microfinance industry has been through a lot in recent times. From the suicides of over-indebted clients in Andhra Pradesh, India, to in-fighting over the future direction of the industry, microfinance as an idea and a practice is at a turning point, suggesting an end of one era and the beginning of something new. Here to make sense of it all and set the record straight is Mary Ellen Iskenderian, president and CEO of Women’s World Banking (WWB), the world’s largest network of microfinance institutions. ...
Mexico: Compartamos S.A.B. de C.V. Concludes the Acquisition for a Majority Stake in Financiera Créditos Arequipa S.A.
June, 16 2011
Mexico City, Mexico - Compartamos announced today that it concluded the acquisition of an 82.7% stake of the capital stock of Financiera Créditos Arequipa S.A. for a total amount of US$ 63 million, upon receiving the corresponding authorization from the Peruvian Securities and Exchange Commission. ...
Mongolia: IFC Helps a Bank Increase Capital and Lending to Small and Medium Businesses
June, 15 2011
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will provide $20 million to Khan Bank LLC, Mongolia’s biggest bank by assets, to help strengthen its capital position and increase lending to small and medium enterprises ...
Bangladesh: Regulator Keeps Interest Rate Cap Intact, Relaxes Repayment Rules
June, 15 2011
Dhaka, Bangladesh - The micro-finance regulator has kept interest rate ceiling on small-loans intact, but eased rules on grace-period and repayment installments in the face of protests from the industry. ...
Micro-Credit Expands in Kyrgyzstan
June, 13 2011
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan - Kyrgyzstan’s micro-credit system has been growing in recent years, a phenomenon that, according to economists, will help rebuild the country, especially in outlying regions. ...
South Africa: Banking Via a Cellphone and a Shack
June, 13 2011
Khayelitsha Township, South Africa - Mobile-phone subscriptions in Africa have jumped from 90 million in 2005 to an estimated 333 million in 2010, according to the United Nations. In South Africa alone, cellphone-banking subscriptions—offered by all of the country's big four banks—grew 21% between July 2009 and June 2010, according to the most recent figures from the nation's central bank. As a result, financial firms are deploying mobile-phone services to reach once-unreachable customers ...
Azerbaijan: IFC to Boost Access to Microfinance
June, 13 2011
Washington DC - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will provide local currency loans to microfinance institutions in Kyrgyz Republic and Azerbaijan to increase access to finance for micro and small business owners in remote rural areas, helping some of the region’s most poor and vulnerable people ...
Generating Jobs in Developing Countries: A Big Role for Small Firms
June, 12 2011
Washington DC - These days, job creation is a top priority for policymakers. What role do small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play in employment generation and economic recovery? Multi-billion dollar aid portfolios across countries are directed at fostering the growth of SMEs ...
Can Small Loans Reduce Poverty? Economist Says Microfinance Yields Surprising Results
June, 10 2011
Washington DC - Small loans, somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 to $500 dollars, are an increasingly popular weapon in the fight to reduce poverty. Called microcredit, institutions dole out these monetary advances to help extremely poor people engage in successful entrepreneurship and improve their quality of life ...
India: New MFI Bill to Make RBI Sole Regulator, Supersede Old Laws
June, 08 2011
Mumbai, India - The central government bill on microfinance companies is likely to make RBI the single regulator for the sector. The bill may also supersede all existing state legislations on MFIs, reports CNBC-TV18’s Gopika Gopakumar ...
ACCION Launches Microfinance Operations in Amazon
June, 07 2011
Manaus, Brazil - ACCION® International, a pioneer and leader in global microfinance, today announced the inauguration of ACCION Microfinanças, a new microfinance organization located in Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas in Brazil's northern region, where access to financial services remains more limited than in most of the country. ...
Armenia: EFSE and ARARATBANK Sign Loan Agreement to Support Micro and Small Enterprises
June, 07 2011
Yerevan, Armenia - The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) signed a new 10 million US dollar loan agreement with ARARATBANK (or the “Bank”) in Armenia at the EFSE’s Annual Meeting held in Tirana, Albania, today. The loan will help the Bank to expand its micro and small enterprise (MSE) lending activities ...
India: Lower Growth, Shakeout Await Microfinance Firms
June, 07 2011
Ibrahimpatnam, India - Until late last year, Indian microlenders were a key source of credit for poor borrowers and a growth industry that attracted global investors such as Sequoia Capital and George Soros ...
Microfinance Craze Conceals Multiple Problems
June, 02 2011
London, United Kingdom - The microfinance industry is expanding at breakneck pace, with more banks and private equity firms now entering the fray. Yet there is growing unease about the naive assumptions, and evangelical predictions, of its advocates ...
Pakistan: Wider Access to Mobile Financial Services Urged
June, 01 2011
Islamabad, Pakistan - According to a recent study conducted by Telenor Group and Boston Consulting Group, wider access to mobile financial services in Pakistan could lead to the creation of 1 million new jobs by 2020. An estimated $2 billion could be added annually to government revenues, helping raise Pakistan’s GDP growth by 3pc. ...
Belgium: Incofin’s Rural Impulse Fund II raises EUR 11 million in second closing
June, 01 2011
Wilrijk, Belgium - In June 2010 Incofin Investment Management launched Rural Impulse Fund II (RIF II) with EUR 86 million to invest in microfinance institutions targeting rural areas. It is the successor fund to Rural Impulse Fund I, the world’s first microfinance facility to specialize in commercially viable rural microfinance institutions. ...

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