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Mar 2016
When People Say They ‘Lack the Money to be Banked’ – Here’s What They Mean
March, 31 2016
Global - “I don’t have enough money.” This response surfaces as the most common answer in surveys designed to uncover barriers to formal financial access. ...
Cignifi and Equifax Partner to Bring Next-Generation Credit Scores to Unbanked Population in Latin America
March, 30 2016
Latin America - Expansion of underwriting capabilities for thin-file and no-file consumers will be made possible by insights generated from mobile phone usage data ...
India: NCML Launches NCML Finance
March, 29 2016
India - National Collateral Management Services Ltd (NCML) has launched its wholly owned subsidiary, NCML Finance Pvt. Ltd (NFin). NFin is an RBI registered Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) with focus on rural and agri-business finance ...
India: Equitas Tweaks IPO Plan, to Open Issue on April 5
March, 28 2016
India - Chennai-based microfinance firm Equitas Holdings Ltd has changed the terms of its initial public offer (IPO) even as it seeks to become the second microlender to go public after SKS Microfinance listed on the bourses in 2010 ...
Zimbabwe: AfricInvest and MicroCred in MicroKing Buyout
March, 27 2016
Zimbabwe - Private equity investment manager AfricInvest and MicroCred, a microfinance institution, have joined forces to acquire MicroKing Finance, a provider of microfinance products serving the micro, small and medium enterprise market in Zimbabwe. ...
India: Micro Finance Companies Get Funds from Banks
March, 25 2016
India - "With Bandhan leaving the MFI space, Rs 10,000 crore worth of priority sector loans was freed up and this amount is now channeled to other MFIs," said Ratna Vishwanathan, chief executive at Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), an industry association for the sector ...
China Makes Gains, Faces Hurdles in Extending Financial Services
March, 25 2016
China - Recent changes by China's rural and private financial institutions will help relieve obstacles to inclusive finance, which have held back the nation's anti-poverty efforts, according to experts at the 2016 Annual Conference of the Boao Forum for Asia, held in China's island province of Hainan ...
Cambodia: National Bank Ups Cash Reserve Requirements
March, 25 2016
Cambodia - The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) has doubled the minimum capital requirements for commercial banks and significantly raised the requirements for microfinance institutions in a move experts say will protect and consolidate the country’s banking sector ...
Korean Financial Firms Rush into Myanmar for Loan Opportunities
March, 23 2016
Myanmar - South Korean financial companies are rushing into Myanmar as they see fresh investment opportunities in the country that has started to open up after almost 50 years of military rule. ...
Cambodia: Sathapana to Become a Commercial Bank
March, 23 2016
Cambodia - Sathapana Microfinance Plc, one of the largest in Cambodia, will officially transform itself into a commercial bank late next month, a move in line with Japanese-owned Maruhan Bank acquiring a 95.1 percent stake in 2012. It will be the second microfinance institute to become a bank after Acleda in 2009 ...
Pakistan: SECP Revamps Regulatory Regime for Non-bank Microfinance Companies
March, 23 2016
Pakistan - Under the new regulatory regime, micro lending has become a regulated activity and all the entities other than microfinance banks undertaking microfinance business will have to get a license from the SECP to undertake the same ...
The Digital Cloud that Hangs Over Every African Farm
March, 22 2016
Africa - But mobile phones and even mobile money accounts do not amount to digital financial inclusion. Millions still live without access to formal financial services and the potential of digital technologies to equip smallholder farmers with knowledge, data and market opportunities has yet to be realised ...
Innovative MSME Finance Shows Promise in Djibouti
March, 22 2016
Djibouti - “The PCG fund is a timely development in Djibouti as it will encourage lenders to provide more financing to MSMEs. We are hopeful that the fund will accelerate the MSME growth and spur job creation in the country,” says Fadwa Bennani, Senior Financial Specialist, the World Bank Group, who led the project ...
Cambodia: Amret Moves up the Ratings Ladder
March, 22 2016
Cambodia - Amret Microfinance Institution, one of the largest in Cambodia’s crowded market, yesterday announced it had received an A- rating from independent rating agency Microfinanza, which is based in Italy, for improving its operation and for its strong performance over the past year ...
IFC and Others Poised to Boost SME Finance Across Africa
March, 22 2016
Africa - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), parent company of the Ecobank Group and leading pan-African full-service banking group, today signed a landmark risk-sharing agreement that will help fill the gap in financing for small and medium sized enterprises in some of Sub-Saharan Africa’s poorest and most fragile countries ...
Slovenia: Microcredit Available for Social Enterprises
March, 22 2016
Slovenia - Slovenia has launched a microcredit scheme for social enterprises in a bid to kick-start the underdeveloped sector. The incentives should "sow the seeds of development", Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said on Monday ...
C. Muñoz, Assistant Director, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center: The Next Step for Developing Cuba? Microfinance
March, 21 2016
Cuba - Microfinance is only available through local, state-owned banks, which cannot afford to provide the scope of financing needed in the country. Microfinance is expensive, and Cubans have little experience with microloans and credit scoring. ...
A. Warren, Senior Analyst and Private Sector Specialist, Abt Associates: Moving Beyond Capital - Designing Technical Assistance that Works as Hard as Entrepreneurs
March, 21 2016
Global - We found that early-stage enterprises need more than just capital. But providing effective technical assistance is more art than science; here are three lessons for development partners supporting early-stage enterprises ...
Fitch: Mexican Credit Unions See Positive Loan Growth
March, 18 2016
Mexico - Although the sector is concentrated in a few credit unions (48% of loans in the Top 5) and growth was underpinned by them, overall growth was overseen at most entities. This signals a good dynamism of lending activities under a challenged economic environment in 2015 with slow growth. ...
B. Preston, Vice President of Investment Funds, Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Supporting Emerging Markets with Innovative Fund Structures
March, 18 2016
Global - When we issued calls for proposals, some of the applying funds that showed strong promise for having a positive social impact in developing countries had some unconventional features that we could not consider in our formal calls process ...
R. Jacobus, Principal, Street Level Advisors: Who Will Pay for Data?
March, 17 2016
Global - The measurement of social impact has become a widely shared objective within the social sector, and few people in the sector doubt the potential of impact data to transform their work. Yet among nonprofit groups, social enterprises, and other social-purpose organizations, the use of impact data remains surprisingly limited ...
Sierra Leone: SME Development Agency Would Provide Loans at a Single Digit Interest Rate - President Koroma
March, 17 2016
Sierra Leone - The president described the ceremony as a giant leap in a long and challenging journey in fulfillment of a long-cherished aspiration of government to develop a vibrant private sector ...
E. Rhyne, Managing Director, Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion: Do Lenders Make Clear the Risks of Microfinance Loans?
March, 17 2016
Global - In Benin, Pakistan and Peru, only about half the respondents said they fully understood the terms and conditions of their loans. In all four countries, only a quarter knew the interest rate of their latest loan. This can lead to nasty surprises ...
Pakistan: Telenor Buys Tameer Bank
March, 17 2016
Pakistan - The Telenor Group has increased its shareholding in Tameer Microfinance Bank to 100%, which makes the country’s first and largest microfinance bank a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Norway-based telecommunications giant ...
Latin America: Afluenta Secures $8M During Series B Funding Round from International Finance Corporation & Elevar Equity
March, 17 2016
Latin America - IFC and Elevar Equity confirmed that the Afluenta’s Series B Funding round represents both the companies’ first global investment in a P2P company ...
Tajikistan: Alif-Sarmoya Micro Credit Deposit Organization LLC Granted License for Banking Operations
March, 16 2016
Tajikistan - Alif-Sarmoya (Alif Capital) Micro Credit Deposit Organization LLC has been granted license to carry out banking operations in the national and hard currencies, according to the press center of the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) ...
Propagate: A Coalition of Smallholder Finance Practitioners Launches to Advance Financial Inclusion of Smallholder Farmers Worldwide
March, 16 2016
Global - The group will collaborate to increase the quality and availability of financial services tailored to meet the unique needs of smallholder farmers ...
Indonesia: Trust Issues May Hamper RI Financial Inclusion Campaign
March, 16 2016
Indonesia - The government’s joint effort with banking institutions to promote financial inclusion across the archipelago is facing a major hurdle as most people from low-income households are reluctant to let individual agents take care of their savings under the government-endorsed branchless banking program, a recent study has revealed ...
Senegal: Teranga Capital Launches SGB
March, 16 2016
Senegal - Teranga Capital, third African fund sponsored by Investisseurs & Partenaires, I&P, was officially launched in Dakar, Senegal on March 15 ...
Rwanda: Access to Financial Services Increase by 65 Percent
March, 16 2016
Rwanda - A survey by Finscope reveals that the number of Rwandans not accessing financial services reduced by 17% in 2012-2016 ...
18th Microcredit Summit Campaign Announces Declaration on Economic Empowerment and Social Inclusion
March, 16 2016
Global - At the closing ceremony, the summit partners committed to a declaration that supports the success of the Universal Financial Access 2020 goal, the World Bank 2030 goals, and the U.N. Global Goals ...
Nepal: Remittances and Microfinance - Risks, Hurdles and Opportunities
March, 16 2016
Nepal - In the case of Nepal, the link between microfinance and remittances has taken an upward trend in recent years with a focus on linking the inflows of remittance money to MFIs who are often better positioned than banks to offer money transfer services. ...
M-Pesa Shows Why Mobile Money Is Yet to Realize Its True Potential in Africa
March, 15 2016
Africa - Safaricom’s launch of M-Pesa was an African innovation to solve an African problem. But the job remains half done ...
J. Hoffmire, Director of the Impact Bond Fund, Oxford University: The Importance of Environmental Practices in Poverty Alleviation
March, 15 2016
Global - Alleviating poverty is a worthy endeavor pursued by many organizations. However, studies show that in some cases there are unintended negative impacts upon the environment. The goal to alleviate poverty without environmental damage can be challenging ...
M. George, Community Lead, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship: 5 Things Every Company Must Do to Be a Social Innovator
March, 15 2016
Global - While philanthropy, social responsibility and corporate governance all already play a role, we will probably see more powerful contributions when companies embed social innovation into their core business strategies and operations ...
Cambodia: MFIs Moving Swiftly on Mobile Banking
March, 15 2016
Cambodia - Microfinance institutions (MFIs) have been expanding their financial services to include the use of mobile phones, a move aimed at boosting services for people in rural areas who find it difficult or expensive to travel to offices in towns or villages ...
India: Equitas Holdings Plans to Launch IPO in April
March, 15 2016
India - The April IPO will make Equitas the first SFB in the country to list on stock exchanges. ...
Sri Lanka: New Laws to Allow Foreign Capital in Micro Finance
March, 15 2016
Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka will soon introduce new laws to allow foreign capital to enter to enter the micro-finance sector, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said ...
World Bank Group Helps Improve Tajikistan’s Credit Reporting Infrastructure
March, 15 2016
Tajikistan - The World Bank Group, with support of the Government of Switzerland, is launching the third phase of an advisory project to further strengthen Tajikistan’s financial infrastructure and unlock affordable financing for smaller businesses, helping them grow and create jobs ...
T. Triebel, CEO, Spotcap: Why Is Fintech Failing Women Globally?
March, 15 2016
Global - The industry can help promote financial inclusion, particularly for women. But challenges remain on both the industry and client sides. Here are the most significant ways fintech can enable women, and the most pressing challenges it will reveal ...
India: Financial Inclusion Platform IFMR Holdings Raises Rs 12.5 Crore from Proparco
March, 15 2016
India - The current round of funding will be used to strengthen and support downstream companies, fuel the company’s expansion plans and increase the range of financial products for people at the bottom of the pyramid ...
Cambodia: Microfinance Sector Praised, But Some Lenders Called Out
March, 15 2016
Cambodia - Speaking at the “National Summit on the Development of Microfinance Sector in Cambodia” yesterday, the prime minister acknowledged the sector’s contribution to providing capital for farmers and small firms, but said some institutions were still taking advantage of consumers’ low financial education ...
TriLinc Global Impact Fund Approves Alsis Funds, SC as Sub-Advisor, and Expands Its Capability for Market-based Impact Investments in Latin America
March, 14 2016
Latin America - TriLinc’s partnership with Alsis represents the first time that we will be able to take advantage of the investment and impact opportunity set of the growing SME segment in Mexico,” said Gloria Nelund, TriLinc’s CEO. ...
Zimbabwe: RBZ Seeks to Broaden Financial Inclusion
March, 14 2016
Zimbabwe - The strategy seeks to ensure the existence of an inclusive financial sector that broadens access to and use of financial services by all with the view of endangering social and economic development. To help attain the goals, the RBZ, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will set up a $10 million SME fund by March 31 ...
Myanmar: Banking on Better Times
March, 14 2016
Myanmar - The passing of a new financial institutions law in January has raised hopes of a brighter future for the nation’s banks but there are challenging times ahead ...
IFC, Fidelity Bank to Expand Digital Financial Services in Ghana
March, 14 2016
Ghana - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an advisory agreement with Fidelity Bank Ghana to expand agent and mobile banking in Ghana. It aims to make financial services more easily available to low-income customers, small-scale entrepreneurs and rural communities ...
Malaysia: Bank Expands SME Financing Regionally
March, 12 2016
East Asia - Maybank is aiming to grow its SME loan portfolio by 27% across the Asean region, including Malaysia, to RM28bil by the end of this year from RM22.1bil as at end-2015 on the back of strong regional outlook for small businesses ...
Tanzania: Yetu Microfinance Formally Goes Public
March, 11 2016
Tanzania - Yetu Microfinance completed official listing process on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE), the first microfinance in the country and East Africa to join the family of other 22 firms quoted on the bourse ...
India: Why Online MSME Finance Service Providers Are the Next Big Thing
March, 10 2016
India - Online MSME finance market startups are looking forward to changing the way traditional financial system works in the country and aims to offer better deals to the borrowers and lenders who congregate on their platform ...
Impact Investing's New Theme: Themes
March, 08 2016
Global - Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and J.P. Morgan have launched platforms aimed at making the impact investment process simpler and more efficient for investors and their advisors, and themed investment is a big part of the strategy ...
S. Balloch, COO, Global Impact Investing Network: How Private Equity Is Heeding the Call of Impact Investing
March, 08 2016
Global - The call to address the world’s social and environmental issues is yielding a response from what some may consider an unexpected place: private equity. The reality is, however, that not only are private equity investors logical partners for anyone seeking to bring about impactful change — but they are also critical to building a better world ...
India: Tax Breaks for NPA Provisioning Will Help MFIs Save ₹150 Crore
March, 08 2016
India - Microfinance institutions (MFIs) can now enjoy tax benefit on provisioning for non-performing assets (NPAs) on par with banks ...
E. Johnson, Contributor, Forbes: 5 Easy Ways to Impact Invest in Women -- and the World
March, 08 2016
Global - With some of big players, such as JP Morgan, setting up impact investment funds, and the rise of gender-specific ones like Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Impact Fund, there’s no shortage of opportunities to make women a part of your investment strategy – with results that will improve lives as well as your investment portfolio ...
The Impact of Shutting Down Mobile Money in Uganda
March, 07 2016
Uganda - On February 18, 2016 the people of Uganda went to the polls to vote in the Presidential and Primary elections. Citing a threat to "national security," the Uganda Communications Commission ordered mobile network operators to shut down key social media sites (WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter) and disable mobile money platforms ...
Development Finance in 2016: Eight Steps Forward
March, 07 2016
Global - Eight months on from the Addis Ababa Action Agenda being signed, what’s next for development finance? A panel of experts share their thought ...
Indonesia: Risk Looms in OJK’s Call for Loan Rate Cuts
March, 07 2016
Indonesia - Given Indonesia’s vast geographical area and scattered banking customers in remote places, the high rate on micro loans is considered justifiable to cover the segment’s risk and operational costs ...
India's First Small Bank to Start Operations on April 13
March, 06 2016
India - Jalandhar-based Capital Local Area Bank (CLAB) is set to become India’s first small area finance bank (SFB) by flagging-off its operations on April 13, 2016 ...
Cambodia: MFI Growth Still Healthy after 10 Years
March, 06 2016
Cambodia - According to a report by the CMA, about 2 million Cambodians used the financial services of an MFI last year, almost double compared to 2010 when MFIs had about 1 million clients. The CMA said the sector’s growth rate was about 16 percent annually. ...
India: The Scope of Private Actors in Impact Investing, Philanthropy
March, 05 2016
India - A MacArthur-Intellecap report on what needs to be done to aid India’s transition to a more robust and  equal society. ...
J. Earne and M. DeAngelis, IFC: Maturing Microfinance in Myanmar
March, 04 2016
Myanmar - Microfinance in Myanmar is at an inflection point: A confluence of maturing incumbent players, new market entrants, technology, reform and investment are aligning to enable a modern sector ...
India: DCB Bank and Annapurna Microfinance Company Seal Equity Deal
March, 03 2016
India - DCB Bank Limited today announced it has acquired an equity stake of 5.81 per cent for Rs 9.99 crore in its long standing business partner Annapurna Microfinance Private Limited ...
Pakistan: Microfinance Sector - Gross Loan Portfolio Increases 39.3%
March, 03 2016
Pakistan - The gross loan portfolio of the microfinance sector increased 39.3% year on year (YoY) to reach Rs93 billion at the end of 2015. According to the latest microfinance statistics, released by the Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN), the value of savings posted an annual growth of 48.7% in 2015. The number of active savers grew 63.8% over the same period ...
Nigeria: CreditRegistry, LAPO Boost Sustainable Access to Credit
March, 03 2016
Nigeria - CreditRegistry Services (CR Services) Plc, Nigeria’s preferred Credit Bureau has announced its partnership with LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited to boost sustainable access to credit financing through provision of Credit Bureau services ...
India Post to Set Up 10,000 ATMs, 20,000 Micro-ATMs by Year-end
March, 03 2016
India - Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced in his Budget speech for 2016-17 that to provide better access to financial services, especially in rural areas, the government will undertake a massive nationwide roll-out of ATMs and micro ATMs in post offices over the next three years ...
Coffee Connections: Improving Smallholder Inclusion through Value Chain Finance
March, 03 2016
Global - From coffee to cocoa to other crops, there are roughly 500 million smallholder farmers around the world. As lessons learned in supply chain sophistication and agriculture financing amass in the growing artisanal produce and mass market grocery industries alike, the prospects for entrepreneurial smallholders may significantly brighten ...
EcoCash: A Mobile Payment Service That's Transforming Lives in Zimbabwe
March, 02 2016
Zimbabwe - Launched in 2011 by EcoNet Wireless, Zimbabwe’s leading mobile operator, EcoCash has grown as a viable alternative to cash for millions of Zimbabweans looking to save, borrow, transfer and save money ...
Proven Impact VC Seeks to Mentor Fund Managers in Developing World
March, 02 2016
Global - By some measures, the world is awash in cash, much of it available to be invested in emerging markets with a social purpose. For instance, the world’s largest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, has assets of $3.3 trillion. The constraint on impact investing may be expertise rather than capital ...
Why “Inefficiency” is Needed in Energy Financing for Africa
March, 01 2016
Africa - One of the most important findings noted at the Africa launch of the World Bank's Progress Toward Sustainable Energy: Global Tracking Framework 2015 (GTF) report for the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, is that despite recent trends to increase investment in the energy sector, we still need to double the number of new connections to modern energy services per year to reach universal access to energy by 2030 ...
R. Keeler, Impact and Innovation Manager, KPMG IDAS: Homing in on Realistic Impact Investment Strategies in Africa
March, 01 2016
Sub-Saharan Africa - Unfortunately, the number of high-impact companies that meet “safe bet” specs is simply not increasing at the same rate as the number of funds. And Africa’s challenging business environment, coupled with the high cost of reaching low-income consumers in informal and rural markets here, tends to amplify trade-offs between profit and impact. ...
Indonesia: BNI, Rural Banks Team up for Microloans
March, 01 2016
Indonesia - State-owned Lender Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) signed an agreement on Monday with the Association of Rural Banks (Perbarindo) on credit linkage to support the government-backed microloan program ...

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