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Dec 2016
Nepal: Productive Sector Makes Big Chunk of Microfinance Loans
December, 31 2016
Nepal - “Microfinance loans were mobilized in the productive sectors like agriculture (51 percent), SMEs (15 percent) and micro-enterprises (18 percent),” the Centre for Microfinance (CMF), Nepal, said in its Nepal Social Performance Country Report 2016 published on Thursday ...
Rwanda: Another Kenyan Bank Set to Enter Local Financial Market
December, 30 2016
Rwanda - The National Bank of Rwanda is in the final stages of licensing a Kenyan bank, Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), to operate in the country as a micro-finance institution ...
Cambodia: One Network to Connect All
December, 29 2016
Cambodia - In Channy, president of Acleda Bank, which boasts about a quarter of the country’s ATMs and nearly 60 percent of all debit cards issued, said the new central shared switch will play a key role in facilitating fast and easy electronic payments, benefitting both customers and financial institutions ...
India: Demonetisation Impact - RBI Eases Small Loan Repayment Norms
December, 29 2016
India - The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has relaxed the norms for bad loan classification for small borrowers, including farmers, who are reeling under the impact of demonetisation. ...
Philippines: Trade Dep’t to Short-list Five Microfinance Firms for P1-billion Lending Program
December, 28 2016
Philippines - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will work with five leading microfinance institutions (MFIs) to allocate an initial P1 billion to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), a measure intended to discourage them from tapping usurious lenders ...
Zimbabwe: RBZ Licences Success Microfinance Bank
December, 28 2016
Zimbabwe - The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has issued Success Microfinance Bank, formerly Collarhedge Finance, with a deposit taking licence, as it presses on with efforts to expand financial services to cover the poor and business start ups ...
Philippines: UnionBank Ventures into Microfinance with Acquisition of FairBank
December, 27 2016
Philippines - UnionBank made the deal through its two wholly-owned subsidiaries Union Properties Inc (UPI), and City Savings Bank (CitySavings) that both obtained monetary board approval to finalize the joint acquisition of a majority stake in the 11-branch FairBank ...
Tunisia: 250 MTD to Be Allocated to Finance Micro Projects
December, 26 2016
Tunisia - This funding will be granted to owners of micro projects in all regions with a value not exceeding 5 thousand dinars for each project ...
T. Bandyopadhyay, Adviser, Bandhan Bank: India - Six Banking Trends to Watch Out for in 2017
December, 26 2016
India - The mother of all trends in 2017 will, of course, be the relentless push by the government for a cashless economy and its implementation by the banking system. We would need to wait and watch how it unfolds ...
Philippines: Microbanking Growing Faster than Most Banking Offices - BSP
December, 24 2016
The Philippines - “When it comes to usage of basic savings accounts, there has been a remarkable growth in micro-deposits which are specifically designed to the low-income sector,” according to the BSP. ...
T. Chahine, Innovation Advisor, Alfanar: The New Double Bottom Line
December, 23 2016
Global - By combining the characteristics of small and nimble organizations with those that have successfully scaled, can we have our impact and our numbers too ...
China: Ant Financial Pushes Rural Finance Service
December, 22 2016
China - Ant Financial said the move accords with a company strategy to boost economic growth in rural areas and the Hangzhou-based internet finance major has set an ambitious goal to lend about one trillion yuan ($143.89 billion) to rural customers in the next three years ...
EIF and European Commission Launch New Capacity Building Initiative for Micro-credit and Social Finance Providers
December, 22 2016
Europe - Through equity investments (such as seed financing, risk capital) mostly, EIF will support the development of these finance providers, for instance by opening a new branch, investing in human resources, developing a new IT tool or financing certain expenses. Ultimately, these investments will help increase the offer and opportunities for micro-borrowers and social enterprises ...
Nigeria: IFC Supports Grooming Micro-finance with N11.5bn Expansion Facility
December, 22 2016
Nigeria - The facility will be used to reach entrepreneurs in 24 of Nigeria’s 36 states, including those in remote rural areas largely underserved by other lenders ...
EFSE Loans $16m to Halkbank for Housing, Microenterprise, Small-business Lending in Macedonia
December, 22 2016
Macedonia - Two thirds of the funding is earmarked for retail housing loans, and the remainder is slated to provide “long-term” loans to micro- and small enterprises ...
A. Bouri, CEO, GIIN: It's Time for More Australian Fund Managers to Invest in Social Outcomes
December, 21 2016
Australia - It’s an idea whose time has come. Around the world, the impact investing movement is coming of age, and it is getting increased attention in Australia ...
How AfDB Is Helping Transform Agriculture in Africa - Report
December, 21 2016
Africa - The African Development Bank, as one of the leading investors in agriculture in the continent, has been firmly on track on how it has deployed US$5.5 billion in investments in agriculture over five years to 2015, the new Development Effectiveness Review on Agriculture released today shows ...
Myanmar Expands Access to Financial Services with World Bank Support
December, 21 2016
Myanmar - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on December 20 approved a $100 million credit to support Myanmar in improving the access of families and small and medium-sized businesses to financial services. ...
Improving the Policy Environment for Financial Inclusion in the Arab World
December, 20 2016
MENA - Authorities across the region – central banks and ministries of finance – are addressing barriers to financial access, and have begun integrating financial inclusion into ongoing work programs alongside stability and supervisory work. The just-concluded Financial Education in the Arab World Conference took stock of recent progress and outlined areas for moving forward ...
Sowing Opportunities and Growing Possibilities in Paraguay
December, 20 2016
Paraguay - The Graduation Approach helps families graduate from extreme poverty in a sustainable and progressive manner. This partnership between Fundación Capital and the government of Paraguay offers a compelling example of how the Graduation program can be integrated into public policy in any region of the world where poverty exists ...
E.L. Littlefield, President and CEO, OPIC: The New Faces of Foreign Assistance
December, 20 2016
Global - What do homework on a Kenyan smartphone, a debit card in a refugee’s hand and a solar-powered spotlight atop an Indian elephant have in common? They all represent a trend that began sweeping across the developing world a generation ago, and is now accelerating and transforming the way foreign assistance is delivered ...
China’s Loan Guidelines to Small Businesses Are Too Rigid, Triggering Debates
December, 20 2016
China - A two-year attempt by the China Banking Regulatory Commission to bolster loans for small businesses could be too rigid, triggering debates on the mainland on whether these administrative mandates are even necessary ...
IFC Launches Online Tool for Expanding Energy Markets in Africa
December, 20 2016
Sub-Saharan Africa - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today launched an online tool to develop off-grid energy in Sub Saharan Africa. The "Off-Grid Market Opportunity Tool" draws on a database that will help companies, governments, development agencies, academics and civil society to better assess the potential market for off-grid energy solutions ...
Rwanda: MFIs Look to Agency Banking to Improve Operations, Ease Costs
December, 20 2016
Rwanda - Microfinance institutions (MFIs) are looking to introduce agency banking next year as one of the interventions aimed at helping the sector reduce operational costs and deepen reach ...
India: Standard Chartered PE Invests $50 Million in IFMR Capital
December, 19 2016
India - The fresh round will help firm boost its business in affordable housing finance, vehicle finance, agriculture finance and microfinance. ...
WorldRemit Launches Ethiopian and Ugandan Cash Pickup Services
December, 19 2016
Ethiopia and Rwanda - Digital money transfer service WorldRemit has added cash pickup services in Uganda and Ethiopia to its list of offerings. Pickup locations in Uganda include all branches of Pride Microfinance, Diamond Trust Bank and Ugafode Microfinance ...
For The Netherlands: Sustainable Development Proposal
December, 18 2016
The Netherlands - Eighteen major financial institutions, including ABN AMRO and ING Groenbank, have signed onto an ambitious program for sustainable development goals’ investment (SDGI). The institutions involved proclaim that they believe it is in their best interest, “as well as that of our clients and investees, to consider the largest societal challenges of our time in our work and investments. ...
NGO Opportunity International Sells Urwego Bank in Rwanda
December, 16 2016
Rwanda - HOPE International, which has been a partner of Opportunity International in Rwanda for the last 11 years, is now a 99 percent shareholder in the bank with World Relief continuing to own 1 percent. The transaction has been approved by the National Bank of Rwanda ...
E. Dokle and M. Soursourian: New Trends in Global Funding for Financial Inclusion
December, 15 2016
Global - What direction is funding for financial inclusion headed? The results are in from the annual CGAP and MIX Cross-Border Funder Survey. In addition to showing a $3 billion increase in commitments to financial inclusion across the 54 funders surveyed, one of the main takeaways this year is that the world’s major funders are increasingly embedding financial inclusion within projects in different sectors — from education to health — and integrating it throughout their organizations. ...
S. Anderson: Next Up for Impact Investing - ‘Solve for Market Demand, Not Investor Preferences’
December, 15 2016
Global - I did not attend the Global Impact Investing Network’s first global forum in 2013 in London. But from what I understand, that inaugural event was typical for the still-nascent field. There were lots of questions about how to proceed, how to develop products that ultimately benefit people and the planet, how to measure their impact and how to make some coin while doing it. There were few answers, but there was a drive to create a community to answer them. ...
India: Small Finance Banks May Need up to Rs60,000 Crore by 2020
December, 15 2016
India - Small finance banks (SFBs) could require up to Rs60,000 crore of non-equity funding by 2019-20 assuming 25% growth in both steady state loans and off-balance sheet loans, according to an India Ratings and Research report released on Wednesday. ...
Global Community Makes Record $75 Billion Commitment to End Extreme Poverty
December, 15 2016
Global - A coalition of more than 60 donor and borrower governments agreed today to ratchet up the fight against extreme poverty with a record $75 billion commitment for the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries ...
TriLinc Global Impact Fund Makes Impact Investments in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia
December, 14 2016
Global - TriLinc Global Impact Fund announced today that it has approved an additional $36.8 million in term loan and trade finance facilities to companies operating in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, bringing total financing commitments as of November 30, 2016 to $243.6 million for business expansion and socioeconomic development through its holdings in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. ...
Innovative Facility to Increase Investment in Myanmar’s Microfinance Sector
December, 14 2016
Myanmar - Access will improve to much-needed capital in Myanmar’s microfinance sector following an agreement between The Currency Exchange Fund (TCX) and the Livelihoods and Food Security Multi-Donor Trust Fund (LIFT) ...
Egypt: CBE Issues New Regulations for Mobile Payment Services
December, 14 2016
Egypt - New regulations and procedures constitute a new approach in the banking sector and a paradigm shift towards financial inclusion, says CBE deputy governor ...
R. Stanley, President and CEO, ImpactUs: Impact Investing in the Age of Fintech and Big Data
December, 14 2016
Global - New impact investing platform harnesses technology, social networks, and scale to help investors, institutions and their advisors invest with purpose ...
MyBucks - FinTech Revolution Goes Much Further Than Simply Digitalising Banking
December, 14 2016
Global - While many of us define ‘FinTech’ as utilising technology to digitalise banking processes, Dave van Niekerk - CEO of Frankfurt- listed FinTech, MyBucks - believes that both businesses and consumers do not fully recognise the big picture in terms of how technology will radically transform the world we live in ...
Bangladesh: ILO - Most Female SME Owners Hardly Get Loans
December, 13 2016
Bangladesh - Over 60% women Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) entrepreneurs in Bangladesh do not get loans neither from the government nor the private loan providers, says a study of ILO, Bangladesh ...
Georgia: BOG Purchases Micro and Small Business Portfolio
December, 13 2016
Georgia - JSC Bank of Georgia purchases a micro and small business loan portfolio from JSC ProCredit Bank. ...
India: 19.71 - Number of ATMs per 100,000 Adults
December, 13 2016
India - This was the number of ATMs per 100,000 adults in India in 2015, as per the Financial Access Survey conducted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This number stood at 8.85 at the end of 2011 and at 17.80 at the end of 2014. ...
C.F. Habito: Philippines - Money for the "Missing Middle"
December, 13 2016
Philippines - If SMEs are to be the rightful engines for broadening participation in our economic growth, financing our missing middle is a challenge into which we need put our best minds and efforts ...
R. Gebelhoff: Microcredit Isn’t Dead
December, 12 2016
Global - Timothy Ogden, managing director of the Financial Access Initiative at New York University, makes this point clear in a compelling and nuanced paper published this month that reviews a group of impact studies on microcredit released in the spring of 2015. For Ogden, the lesson of the past few decades in microlending is that we’ve become swept up in a fantasy about what it could accomplish ...
IFC and FMO Investment in Mobisol Helps Deliver Decentralized Solar Energy to East Africa
December, 12 2016
East Africa - The financing will help accelerate Mobisol’s growth in existing markets in Rwanda and Tanzania, and to support its expansion into Kenya ...
Sri Lanka: Thai Finance Company Acquires 29.99% of Commercial Credit
December, 11 2016
Sri Lanka - Group Lease Public Company Limited (GLPCL), a digital finance company listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), acquired a 29.99% stake of Commercial Credit and Finance Plc (CCF) for USD 70 million at the Colombo Bourse last week. The transaction valued at over Rs. 10.56 billion is one of the highest recorded at the CSE, a company official said. ...
Bangladesh: Mobile Money Drives Financial Inclusion
December, 11 2016
Bangladesh - Financial inclusion expanded 8 percentage points year-on-year in 2015, driven by growth in mobile money, according to a recent study ...
Here's How Fintech Will Impact Emerging Markets in 2017
December, 10 2016
Global - Mobile payments, digital wallets, and other forms of financial technology (fintech) have seen widespread adoption in the West, but fintech has a whole new meaning for the developing world ...
Report: 95% of Impact Investors Say Returns Meet or Exceed Expectations
December, 09 2016
Global - A new study released by the Global Impact Invest Network (GIIN) at the opening of its two-day Investor Forum 2016 in Amsterdam this week found that impact investors reported substantial growth over the last three years ...
Finnfund to Invest in Cambodian-based Microfinance Institution
December, 09 2016
Cambodia - The loan provided by Finnfund is worth USD 15 million. It is a part of combined loans of a total of USD 55 million, arranged by the German development finance institution DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH. This support of international investors demonstrates a strong confidence in Cambodia’s micro-finance sector and outlook for the country’s sustained economic recovery ...
MS Sriram, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore: Microfinance in India Growing Fast Again - Should We Be Concerned?
December, 08 2016
India - Having largely recovered from the 2010 crisis, the growth of microfinance today creates a new set of challenges. The findings of the recently released Inclusive Finance India Report 2016 suggest that these challenges should be addressed soon ...
Mobile Money Access Lifted 2% of Kenyan Households Out of Poverty, Finds New Study
December, 08 2016
Kenya - The researchers tracked the economic progress of thousands of households and estimate that the expansion of M-PESA lifted 194,000 households, or two percent of households in the country, above the poverty line, and that these effects were partly driven by women's access to the new way of sending and receiving money ...
Vietnam: VPBank Gets Microfinance Loans
December, 07 2016
Vietnam - The finance is intended to stimulate microfinance in Vietnam, where debt finance can be hard to come by for small businesses, particularly through mainstream banking channels. ...
Philippines: Liberal Banking Policies Boost Microfinance - BSP
December, 07 2016
Philippines - The number of Filipinos borrowing small-scale loans continues to grow this year as a result of a more liberal banking regulations, the central bank governor said on Tuesday ...
Nicaragua: In One of Latin America’s Poorest Countries, Boosting the Economy Is Women’s Work
December, 07 2016
Nicaragua - A culture of machismo has traditionally left many Nicaraguan women jobless. Now the country is trying to bring them off the sidelines ...
Indonesia: Farmers to Enjoy Micro Loan Boon Next Year
December, 07 2016
Indonesia - On Tuesday, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo called on his Cabinet to design a micro-credit program specifically designed for the agriculture sector to increase the amount of financing farmers could receive. He acknowledged that the current micro-credit program was too broad ...
Bangladesh: Male Microcredit Recipients More Likely to Be Entrepreneurs Than Females - Study
December, 07 2016
Bangladesh - The study shows that only 15 per cent of women who have access to microcredit are entrepreneurs, while 39 per cent of their male counterparts who have access to microcredit are entrepreneurs, though male loan recipients are less than 10 per cent ...
EIF Signs Guarantee Deal with Serbia's Banca Intesa Beograd to Back SMEs
December, 07 2016
Serbia - The European Investment Fund (EIF) said on Wednesday it signed a guarantee agreement with Serbia's Banca Intesa Beograd to extend a total of 60 million euro ($64 million) in loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country in the next two years. ...
US Investment Firm Buys $6m Equity in Kenyan Bank
December, 07 2016
Kenya - Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) focused lender in Kenya Jamii Bora Bank Limited has received $6 million equity investment from Chicago-based private equity fund Equator Capital Partners LLC ...
EBRD Continues to Support Albania's Agribusiness Program
December, 07 2016
Albania - The newly established Albania Agribusiness Support Facility is gathering momentum with the country’s largest microfinance institution Fondi BESA joining the framework, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Dec. 6 ...
Cambodia: Central Bank Orders Lenders to Step Up Lending in Riel
December, 07 2016
Cambodia - Cambodian microfinance institutions have said they would comply with a new regulation issued by the central bank that requires them to hold at least 10 percent of their loan portfolio in the Kingdom’s national currency. ...
Zimbabwe: Govt Avails $10m Treasury Bills for SME Banks
December, 07 2016
Zimbabwe - The Government will issue Treasury Bills valued at $10 million to capitalise the Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) microfinance bank as part of measures to support growth of young businesses ...
Policy and Regulation in the Mekong: Developing Strategic Frameworks for Financial Inclusion
December, 06 2016
Asia - The Banking With the Poor Network assembled regulators and trade group leaders offered a litany of current and soon-to-be-released strategies to create a nurturing environment for pro-client financial services ...
First Household Solar Pilot Kits Launched in Sierra Leone
December, 05 2016
Sierra Leone - Within the pilot scheme, micro-finance institutions (MFIs) will provide consumer financing to their customers to enable them to purchase home solar systems ...
Colombia: Bancolombia Issues First Green Bond for 350 Billion Colombian Pesos, With IFC as Sole Investor
December, 05 2016
Colombia - This marks the first green bond issued by a commercial bank in Latin America. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the sole investor in the bond. ...
T. Bandyopadhyay, Consulting Editor, Mint: India - The Way Forward with Microfinance
December, 03 2016
India - Indian Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) primarily cater to a certain demographic — the bottom of the pyramid. In the aftermath of the demonetization move and push for a cashless economy, they need to reinvent themselves. ...
L. Bolze, Analyst, CFI: 5 Themes in Financial Inclusion Innovation from European Microfinance Week 2016
December, 02 2016
Global - At the conference, I joined discussions about key organizations and challenges in the industry. Here are five of the main takeaways from the week ...
The Impressive Impact of Village Banking in Paraguay
December, 02 2016
Paraguay - Of the country’s 16 banks and 12 financial institutions that are regulated by the Superintendent of Banks, only one—plus one nonprofit organization—are directly working on rural microfinance programs for poor areas of the country. And they are producing some impressive results with a microcredit approach called village banking ...
Islamic Banks Slowly Embrace Green Finance - Survey
December, 01 2016
Global - Islamic banks are gradually embracing socially responsible finance, from renewable energy to microfinance efforts, helping unlock new funding sources for environmentally-friendly projects, an industry survey shows ...
Ghana: BoG Introduces Business Rules and Micro-finance Logo to Sanitize the Industry
December, 01 2016
Ghana - The Central Bank of Ghana has introduced a new set of business regulations and corresponding sanctions to effectively regulate the microfinance industry. ...

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