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Jan 2012
Bangladesh: Grabbing Grameen
January, 28 2012
New York, US - Grameen became a global model for microfinance. Yet the Bangladeshi government seems determined to take Mr Yunus down a peg. The government is calling for the Grameen empire to be brought together “under a single structure”. Bangladeshi businessfolk are horrified. If a Nobel prize is no defence against expropriation, that doesn’t bode well for the security of property rights in Bangladesh. ...
The Year of the Dragon: More Innovation for Financial Inclusion?
January, 27 2012
Washington, US - The Water Dragon symbolizes new frontiers, changes and innovations. This could be good news for financial inclusion in China and the rest of the region. In spite of ongoing reforms, governments exert high levels of controls on the financial sector in East Asia. The second challenge is the increasing inequality between the rich and the poor. ...
Yemen: Microfinance to Flourish in 2012
January, 26 2012
Sana'a, Yemen - Yemen’s microfinance sector saw massive deterioration in 2011 with some institutions and banks plundered by armed men in war-torn areas, while many clients were unable to pay off loans after fleeing fighting in their home towns and villages. However, microfinance advocates are optimistic that the sector will bounce back this year, especially after the return of security and calm to the majority of Yemen’s cities. ...
Financial Inclusion Issues to Watch in East Africa, 2012
January, 26 2012
Washington, US - Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) continues to be a region plagued with challenges but ripe with opportunities in microfinance. Despite these challenges, microfinance in SSA has gained momentum during the past few years. ...
India: Lok Capital Closes Second Fund At $65M
January, 25 2012
Delhi, India - Lok Capital, a venture capital firm focused on the bottom-of-the-pyramid (BoP) market, has made a final close of $65 million for its second fund. With the close of the second fund, Lok Capital’s funds under management will go over $85 million. ...
Azerbaijan: Rural Impulse Fund II and ASN-Novib Microkredietfonds Take Stake in VisionFund’s Azercredit
January, 25 2012
Anvers, Belgium - Incofin IM’s Rural Impulse Fund II and Triple Jump’s ASN-Novib Microkredietfonds take an equity stake in Azercredit. This Azerbaijani MFI with strong rural focus was founded and solely owned by World Vision /VisionFund. Incofin IM and Triple Jump will be actively involved in the institution’s future development by taking up a seat in Azercredit’s board of directors. ...
Financial Services for the Poor: Priorities for 2012
January, 24 2012
Washington. US - As a global public good with the mission to advance access to financial services for the poor, our role is to push the frontiers of our field. Building on the progress made last year, we believe our field has five important priorities this year ...
Development Financial Institutions Continue to Crowd Out Private Investments in Microfinance
January, 24 2012
Bangalore, India - MicroRate’s study, ‘Role Reversal Revisited: Are public development institutions still crowding out?’ finds that development financial institutions (DFIs) are actively competing with private microfinance funds – also called microfinance investment vehicles or MIVs – harming the flow of private investment into the microfinance sector ...
Bangladesh: Micro-Credit in Bangladesh Beyond Yunus
January, 24 2012
Dhaka, Bangladesh - The Bangladesh micro-finance sector is regarded as the largest and most efficient in the world. However, the micro-finance industry is now at a crossroads, and to take it to the next trajectory we have to increase our standards of reporting as well as processing, to ensure wider coverage with timely recovery, integrate micro-finance into the mainstream financial system and, in the process, set global standards for others to follow ...
From Microfinance to Metafinance: A New Tool to Fight Global Poverty
January, 23 2012
London, UK - Demographic trends in developing countries indicate that demand for access to basic services will only intensify in the years ahead, and metafinance can provide a way for the poor and underserved to partner with local governments and take an active role in improving the health, living standards, and productivity of traditionally marginalized communities. Every little bit helps. ...
Microfinance Men Launch Fund Of Funds
January, 22 2012
Washington, US - Two microfinance veterans are launching one of the first funds of funds to focus on the fast-growing sector. Jack Lowe and Vincent Oswald, formerly of Blue Orchard, a Geneva-based microfinance investment manager, are launching the vehicle under their new Azure Partners label ...
Oxfam Moves Into Fund World
January, 22 2012
Washington, US - Oxfam, the anti-poverty charity, is branching out into asset management by launching its first investment fund, which will aim to combine social good with financial returns. The Small Enterprise Impact Investment Fund is a joint initiative between Oxfam GB and Symbiotics, a Swiss microfinance specialist. It will invest in financial intermediaries with a mandate to support small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa and Asia. ...
Armenia: IFC Loan Helps Armenia’s ACBA-Credit Agricole Boost Lending to Small Businesses, Farmers
January, 20 2012
Yerevan, Armenia - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing Armenia’s ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank with a $30 million loan to expand lending to local micro, small, and medium enterprises and agribusinesses, boosting job creation ...
Mexico, Indonesia and Haiti Advance Financial Inclusion with Bold Approaches to Account Opening
January, 19 2012
Washington, US - How to pursue a policy of access to a bank account for everyone, while at the same time erecting regulatory barriers to the opening of those accounts to prevent their misuse. New-to-banking customers can learn about how to use the account before they are asked to submit to onerous Know Your Customer (KYC) obligations. Banks don’t need to put in place costly KYC processes for customers that are not yet profitable. And law enforcement agencies can get relevant information on accounts commensurate with the risks involved ...
India: SKS Q3 Loss At Rs 428Cr, Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Buys 1% Stake
January, 19 2012
New Delhi, India - SKS Microfinance appears to have a new investor joining the company’s list of backers. The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund – Government Pension Fund Global – figures among the list of prominent shareholders of the company. As per the latest disclosure, the sovereign wealth fund held 1.03 per cent in the microfinance firm as of December 31, 2011 ...
Malaysia: RM50m Micro-Credit Fund for the Business-Savvy
January, 18 2012
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - MCA has launched a RM50 million micro-credit fund for Malaysian youths to kick start their own businesses. 1MCA Microcredit Fund for Youth is targeted at young Malaysians aged between 21 and 45 years and will give out maximum loans of RM20,000. Successful applicants will have to repay the loan within five years at an annual seven per cent interest rate. ...
Myanmar: UK to Up Support For Credit Program
January, 16 2012
Naypyidaw, Myanmar - The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development will provide an additional £10 million (US$15 million) for microfinance projects, a spokesperson said last week ...
Rating Initiative to Stop Subsidizing Microfinance Institution Social Ratings, Will Shut Down Over Two Years
January, 16 2012
Boston, US - The Rating Initiative (RI), a Luxembourg-based program that supports the use of ratings that include financial and social criteria, is transitioning into a two-year exit phase that includes terminating its subsidies for social ratings of microfinance institutions (MFIs). ...
India: Can India’s MFI Industry be Saved?
January, 15 2012
New Delhi, India - The government and RBI must draw an MFI survival strategy before it’s too late. We need them at least till such time the banks are ready to reach out to the masses. ...
Liberia: Central Bank of Liberia Launches L$200m Loan Extension Assistance Facility
January, 15 2012
Monrovia, Liberia - The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has announced the launching of a Loan Extension Assistance Facility (LEAF) in the amount of L$200,000,000 (Two Hundred Million Liberian Dollars). ...
China: Scaling Up Impact Investing In China
January, 13 2012
Washington, US - Opportunities in China for impact investing are growing, where investors look to create positive social and environmental benefits alongside returns. Impact investors actively choose to put their money into companies that address social and environmental issues through their business models ...
MicroRate Releases Luminis, First Analytical Platform on Microfinance Funds
January, 12 2012
Washington, US - On December 20, 2011, MicroRate, with the support of LuxFLAG and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, launched Luminis(TM) the first web-based, analytical platform focused on microfinance funds, also known as microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs) ...
Kyrgyzstan: EBRD and FMO Grant First Ever Syndicated Local Currency Loan in the Kyrgyz Republic
January, 11 2012
The Hague, The Netherlands - Microfinance institution Mol Bulak Finance (MBF) has received the first ever syndicated local currency (som) loan in the Kyrgyz Republic.The syndicated loan, which was arranged by the EBRD, will be for the Kyrgyz som equivalent of USD 9 million comprising an A-loan for the EBRD up to USD 3 million and a B-loan for FMO (the Netherlands Development Finance Company) of up to USD 6 million. ...
Cambodia: Debt Fears for Farmers Calls for Lower Microfinance Rates
January, 11 2012
Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Small loans at Cambodia’s MFIs carry monthly interest rates as high as 4 per cent, Kalyan Mey, a senior advisor to Cambodia’s Supreme National Economic Council, told the Post yesterday. At the highest, yearly rates on the loans can hit nearly 50 per cent without compound interest, which is unsustainable for Cambodia’s rural economy, he said. ...
Colombia: Credit to Reach 35% of GDP in 2011, but Lack of Inclusion Persists
January, 10 2012
Santiago, Chile - Domestic credit to Colombia's private sector and the nonfinancial public sector will likely approach 35% of GDP in 2011, up from 28% in 2006, but a lack of inclusion still persists in the financial system, S&P said in a report. ...
China Has More Than 4,000 Micro-Finance Companies
January, 10 2012
Beijing, China - China's micro-finance companies witnessed a boom last year as the government encouraged their development to support small and micro-enterprises, with the total number reaching 4,144 by the end of November 2011 ...
Tanzania: 48 firms strengthen services
January, 09 2012
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - The first ever code of conduct for microfinance institutions in Tanzania has been endorsed to guarantee customers of better services. About 48 microfinance institutions in the country assented to the code of standards of practices that will greatly improve delivery of services to micro-borrowers. ...
Philippines: Credit Bureau for Microfinance Formed
January, 09 2012
Manila, Philippines - A credit bureau dedicated for micro-borrowers has been formed, and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said this should help boost growth in lending to the country’s low-income sector to a double-digit pace in 2012. The seven biggest micro-finance institutions in the country signed on Tuesday a memorandum of agreement on the creation of the credit bureau, which would make lenders more comfortable at extending loans to micro-entrepreneurs ...
Accessing the Future: Beyond the Traditional Microfinance Space
January, 07 2012
Washington, US - In five years, how will the poor be accessing financial services? If we could step back in time to 2006 with the microfinance sector scaling rapidly across the globe, it would have been hard to imagine that today mobile money users would outstrip all banked individuals in some countries, or that in other countries commercial banks would have overtaken microfinance institution (MFI) outreach to the poor in just a few years ...
Burma: UK Says Microfinance Key to Burma’s Growth
January, 06 2012
Oslo, Norwey - Britain will commit a sizeable portion of its aid to Burma over the next four years towards spurring microfinance initiatives in the country’s rural regions, where the absence of credit has fuelled endemic poverty ...
Impact Investors Move Closer to Getting Their Own Exchanges
January, 05 2012
New York, US - There is a tremendous amount of interest in the impact investment space coming from institutional investors, family offices, high-net-worth individuals, private equity firms and pension funds,” says Robert Rubinstein, founder and CEO of TBLI Group, an Amsterdam-based advisory firm best known for its events promoting triple-bottom-line investments—those with financial, environmental and social benefits. “But they simply don’t have the infrastructure to find the investments ...
Social Performance: A Truth in Advertising Approach
January, 05 2012
Washington, US - The microfinance community pursues a double bottom line: both social and financial. Originally, the social bottom line dominated, while the financial bottom line was seen as a means (not an end) of achieving social ends, particularly through scale and permanence. But as microfinance became more commercial, financial returns began to hog the attention. Not only are financial returns a great motivator, they are much more easily communicated, monitored and understood than social returns ...
Marked Progress in the Transparency of Cross-Border Funding
January, 05 2012
Washington, US - There are strong reasons to believe that transparency contributes to more effective and more responsible funding. However, there is still room for improvement. Feedback from CGAP members suggests that better data on funding flows helps analyze funding gaps and allows funders to compare their portfolios with their peers ...
TBC Capital Asset Management Looking to Raise $75m for “TBC Capital Impact Investing Fund-I”
January, 05 2012
Boston, US - TBC Capital Asset Management Looking to Raise $75m for “TBC Capital Impact Investing Fund-I” to Invest in Microfinance, Sustainable Agriculture, and Clean and Base-of-Pyramid Infrastructure. ...
Lebanon: SANAD Fund Makes First Investment For Small Enterprises in Lebanon
January, 03 2012
Frankfurt am Main & Beirut, Germany & Lebanon - The SANAD Fund for MSME has signed a senior loan facility of US dollar 5 million with BLC Bank S.A.L., finalizing SANAD’s first investment in Lebanon. The loan will enable BLC to further expand its small and medium enterprise (SME) loan program and to address the need of small enterprises in Lebanon to gain better access to long-term credit. Small enterprises constitute an important backbone of the country’s economy and will contribute – throughout all sectors – to employment creation, especially among youth ...
The Great Financial Inclusion Juggling Act
January, 03 2012
Washington D.C. - The sheer magnitude of the financial inclusion gap –70% of households in developing countries are unbanked— calls for pretty radical solutions. We need to overcome an access barrier (last mile infrastructure), a relevance barrier (right-sized products and services) and a usability barrier (friendly and intuitive customer experience). The problem is that we tend to think of these separately, or at least we think we can tackle them sequentially ...
Nigeria: 2011 in retrospect, Microfinance Banks Score Sector high
January, 02 2012
Abuja, Nigeria - Despite the shaky start of 2011 due to the tsunami that engulfed the microfinance sector in the last quarter of 2010, which led to the liquidation of 103 microfinance banks (MfBs) by the regulatory bodies, MfB operators have rated their efforts at providing access to finance and enhancing financial inclusion above average, saying these were signs that they are on the right path ...

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