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Mar 2019
Liberia: World Bank Financing for MSMEs Gets Two Years Extension
March, 29 2019
Liberia - The two years extension grant agreement, according to the release, is intended to provide finance to MSMEs on a sustainable term, enhance capacities of local private sector financial institutions to lend profitably ...
Fintech Growing Rapidly in Latin America
March, 29 2019
Latin America - The number of fintech startups has increased dramatically in Latin America, giving a significant boost to ambitions for greater financial inclusion. ...
Brazil Central Bank Seeks to Boost Microcredit Segment
March, 29 2019
Brazil - Brazil's central bank unveiled changes to micro credit rules in order to support the growth of this loan segment ...
India: Digital Lending Helped Push  Financial Inclusion
March, 28 2019
India - Digital lending has boosted financial inclusion, especially helping borrowers otherwise unlikely to benefit from formal finance, Reserve Bank of India deputy governor N.S. Vishwanathan said ...
India: Manappuram Finance Gets Rs 695 Crore Funding from NABARD
March, 28 2019
India - The company will deploy the funds for onward lending to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and microfinance sector under priority sector lending ...
Vietnam: IFC Provides Loans to OCB
March, 27 2019
Vietnam - The IFC-led financing package, combined with advisory services, will boost lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), especially women-owned or led ones, and will promote supply chain finance in the country ...
Philippines: Fintech Group Sets Financial Inclusion Objectives
March, 27 2019
Philippines - The group is looking to reduce the number of unbanked towns and provinces to 25% from 35% currently, as well as allow a fourth of cooperatives, rural banks and micro-finance firms to roll out inter-operable digital products and services ...
Pakistan: Government Urged to Focus on Financial Inclusion of Women
March, 27 2019
Pakistan - The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Wednesday urged the government for focusing on financial inclusion of women to promote female entrepreneurship and improve economic growth ...
Pakistan: Telenor Microfinance Bank & TOTAL PARCO Join Hands to Offer Easypaisa Services Nationwide
March, 27 2019
Pakistan - Pakistan’s leading microfinance institution, Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB) has joined hands with TOTAL PARCO Pakistan to provide Easypaisa services and fuel payment solutions at all TOTAL PARCO fueling stations located throughout Pakistan ...
India: Into Debt Traps
March, 27 2019
India - A well designed system to monitor repayment capability of clients is vital for MFIs to detect over-indebtedness and to control it ...
Funds Are Flowing From Philanthropy to Investments; Is This a Good Thing?
March, 27 2019
Global - Few would argue that putting money into sustainable investments is a bad thing. But what if the rise of these funds come at the expense of charity ...
Poor Access to Finance Is Holding Back Businesses in MENA. This Is How We Can Help Them
March, 27 2019
MENA - The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is facing the urgent task of creating jobs for the 20 million young people expected to join the workforce by 2025. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) could play an instrumental role in tackling this challenge, given their potential to create jobs and foster innovation. Unfortunately, SMEs in the region continue to face important obstacles, not least limited access to finance - an area where the region has the largest gap in the world ...
Creating a More Financially Inclusive Asean through Open Banking
March, 27 2019
Asia - Open banking has increasingly been described as a key enabler of innovation for banks and financial technology (fintech) players. According to IDC Financial Insights’ research, financial services institutions have become increasingly open to collaboration with fintech companies, or investing in them to build innovation competencies ...
India: IIFL Fund Leads $130 Million Investment in Northern Arc Capital
March, 26 2019
India - Northern Arc Capital (formerly IFMR Capital), a debt capital platform for financial institutions serving excluded individuals and businesses, on Tuesday said it had raised ₹910 crore ($130 million) from IIFL Special Opportunities Fund and Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE), the company said in a statement ...
Social Impact, Simplicity and App-Focused Experiences: How Millennials are Changing the Investment Landscape
March, 26 2019
Global - Other major factors for Millennial investors is the simplicity, ease of use and online accessibility from financial institutions, regardless of size ...
Are You Seeking Top-rated Responsible Investing Funds? There's a Rating for That
March, 26 2019
Global - If you want to see how the funds you're invested in fare when it comes to environmental, social and governance factors, there's a rating for that ...
African Banks’ Profitability Should Drive Financial Inclusion, Bankers Say
March, 25 2019
Africa - As banks in Africa consistently post healthy financial margins, the populations continue to grapple with financial exclusion, a phenomenon that may jeopardise the sustainability of financial services on the continent ...
Cambodia: Microfinance - A Catalyst to Drive Usage of National Currency in the Kingdom
March, 25 2019
Cambodia - Backed by a strong rural clientele, microfinance institutions (MFIs) could amplify the wider usage of the riel as the circulation of the national currency is much higher outside the city ...
Mexican President Urges Bank Competition to Boost Financial Inclusion
March, 23 2019
Mexico - Mexico’s president and the head of the country’s banking association on Friday called for more competition among banks to drive them to offer lower commissions, in a bid to help millions of Mexicans without bank accounts to enter the formal economy. ...
What's Next for Digitally Driven Financial Inclusion?
March, 22 2019
Global - While digital finance has helped bring millions across Asia into the economic fold, there is still work left to do, said panellists at the Money 20/20 Asia conference, who shared their lessons learned so far ...
Dutch Regulator ‘World’s First’ to Sign up to PRI
March, 21 2019
Global - Dutch pensions supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has become the world’s first central bank to sign up to the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) ...
China: Bank Loans Help Retirees Who Cannot Afford Pension Funding
March, 21 2019
China - The local government's social security department, together with Dandong Bank, has launched a new program called Pension Loan. They believe the move will improve the living standards of the low-income elderly while maintaining the sustainability of pension funds ...
Uganda: Over 1,400 People Enroll for Health Insurance
March, 21 2019
Uganda - According to Uganda Voucher Plus Activity Chief of party, Christine Namayanja, the project has trained health care providers in 55 health facilities in 28 districts of Eastern Uganda and Acholi sub- region about community mobilisation for health insurance ...
How Socially Responsible Investing Can Help End Modern Slavery
March, 20 2019
Global - Investing with a conscience is a growing trend worldwide, but the focus so far has been on environmental and governance issues. Metrics must be established to track social issues, so investors can make a tangible impact ...
Orange Money: Fintech Is Proving a Game Changer in Africa
March, 20 2019
Africa - Innovations are enabling Africans (even those in rural areas) to move up the financial services value chain ...
New Partnership to Boost Financial Inclusion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
March, 20 2019
DRC - FSD Africa and Equity Bank Congo have entered into a new partnership that targets unbanked people in rural areas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ...
Impact Investing for Dual Financial and Social Returns
March, 19 2019
Global - According to the US SIF Foundation, by the end of 2017 more than one of every four dollars under professional management in the United States was invested according to SRI strategies, an amount totaling more than $12 trillion ...
In An Institutional Shift, Grupo Bimbo Anchors An Impact Fund of Funds in Latin America
March, 19 2019
Latin America - Bimbo has committed about $10 million from its employee pension fund to the “LatAm Impact Fund,” which is seeking to raise between $75 million and $150 million in a fund of funds ...
Here Is the Breakdown of New Minimum Capital Requirements for Microfinance Banks in Nigeria
March, 19 2019
Nigeria - The Central Bank of Nigeria has rolled out new regulations for microfinance banks (MFBs) in the country ...
10 Years of Green Bonds: Creating The Blueprint for Sustainability across Capital Markets
March, 18 2019
Global - The World Bank green bond raised awareness for the challenges of climate change and demonstrated the potential for investors to support climate solutions through safe investments without giving up financial returns ...
Plan to Develop Affordable Housing for Low and Middle-income Fijian Families
March, 18 2019
Fiji - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed a landmark agreement with the Fijian Government to bring in the private sector to help provide affordable and climate-resilient homes for low and middle-income families ...
Impact Investing in the UAE: The Business of Doing Good
March, 17 2019
United Arab Emirates - UAE businesses are becoming increasingly aware of potential profits while being socially and environmentally consciou ...
The Philippines: World Bank Group, Insurer Partner for Women’s Financial Security
March, 16 2019
The Philippines - The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Insular Life have partnered to launch a programme targeting to improve the lives of one million Filipino women through greater financial inclusion and security ...
GGF Lends 2 Mln Euro to Bosnia's Mikrofin to Back Energy Efficiency Projects
March, 15 2019
Bosnia & Herzegovina - The Green for Growth Fund (GGF) has partnered with Bosnia's microcredit company Mikrofin to promote energy efficiency at micro-enterprise and household level through a loan of 2 million euro ($2.3 million), GGF said on Friday. ...
Natsave and Mastercard Sign Strategic Agreement to Drive Digital Transformation and Financial Inclusion in Zambia
March, 15 2019
Zambia - The National Savings Bank and Mastercard have signed a strategic partnership agreement, which will see the bank rollout Mastercard Chip and PIN prepaid and debit cards to provide its customers with a safer and more convenient alternative to transacting with cash ...
China Leads the World in Digital Financial Inclusion Advances
March, 15 2019
China - China is taking the global lead in digital financial inclusion and could introduce its best practices to other countries, said a senior fintech practitioner ...
What Opportunities Does Mobile ID Bring to the Unbanked
March, 14 2019
Global - Mobile ID is a digital identity and e-signature solution used to authenticate into e-services such as banking (being equivalent to a face-to-face meeting), and gives e-signatures confirming transactions. Just as with a passport, governments will be the sole issuers for its citizens. It works equally well on mobile phones and smartphones, thus can be deployed in rural areas with limited connectivity. ...
Rwanda: Lending to Farmers Boost MFIs Financial Position
March, 14 2019
Rwanda - Rice farmers in Rubona in Southern Province harvest their produce. Microfinance institutions remain the biggest lenders to farmers while commercial banks shying away from financing the agriculture sector as it is considered to be highly risky. File ...
Challenges in Banking the Unbanked
March, 14 2019
Global - Potential social and economic benefits of financial inclusion in developing countries are huge, yet many obstacles remain on the path to a fully banked world ...
India: How Financial Literacy Can Truly Empower Women
March, 13 2019
India - Financial inclusion and gender equality have been important subjects of discussion in most developing economies. In a UN report, “gender equality and empowerment of women and girls” has been touted as one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), integral for inclusive and holistic development. However, the gender disparity remains at large and calls for a global effort towards bridging the gap ...
Inside Tips From Fintech Startups Trying To Advance Financial Inclusion
March, 12 2019
Global - How can we improve the quality of financial services, reduce their costs, and deliver them at scale to underserved customers globally? That was the topic that brought together more than 250 investors, entrepreneurs, bankers, regulators and industry leaders from around the world for the 2019 Fintech for Inclusion Summit ...
Future Returns: How to Incorporate ESG Strategies
March, 12 2019
Global - High-net-worth investors are demanding more from their portfolios than just strong investment results these days—they want to help change the world, too. Socially responsible investing, traditionally an underperforming niche overlooked by most serious investors, has undergone explosive growth in popularity over the past few years and is increasingly becoming a mainstay in wealthy investors’ portfolios ...
Nigeria: OneFi Secures $5 Million Debt Facility to Transit into a Digital Bank
March, 12 2019
Nigeria - OneFi says the debt facility will be used to deploy more loans to Paylater customers, specifically through a suite of innovative new products. ...
Zimbabwe: Cost of Lending up 8% - MFIs
March, 12 2019
Zimbabwe - The deterioration in all the indicators of efficiency and productivity is highly correlated to the 2% money transfer tax and the significant increase in inflation recorded since September 2018 ...
Nigeria's Access Bank Signs $162.5 Million Loan to Boost Capital
March, 12 2019
Nigeria - Access Bank Plc, which is in the process of taking over rival Diamond Bank, signed an agreement for a $162.5 million loan to boost its capital and fund lending operations ...
Consumer Finance Firms See Vietnam Opportunity
March, 12 2019
Vietnam - Figures from the National Financial Supervisory Commission indicate that credit from Vietnam’s consumer finance firms grew 3.5 times more than overall credit in 2017, while recent merger and acquisition activity points to greater overseas involvement in this sector ...
Egypt: FMO Invests in Dopay
March, 11 2019
Egypt - Dutch development bank FMO has invested in dopay, a technology start-up company that aims to break the cash cycle at the payroll of underserved employees in emerging markets ...
Cambodia Could Adopt South Korean Financial Literacy Model to Boost Economic Development
March, 11 2019
Cambodia - Cambodia's lending industry has started showing some signs of strain due to collateral confiscations and defaulted loans but a consideration of South Korea's financial inclusion model could help resolve lending issues and boost economic growth ...
OFID’s Support of UNRWA via PalFund Provides US$ 141.3 million in Loans to Palestinian Microenterprise Sector
March, 10 2019
Palestine - The PalFund is used for on-lending to eligible beneficiaries and projects in the occupied Palestinian territories through the UNRWA Microfinance Department programme, which supports Palestine refugees in the Palestinian microenterprise sector ...
Emerging Markets to Drive Global Insurance Growth over Next Decade: Swiss Re’s Sigma
March, 08 2019
Global - Emerging markets will remain the growth engine of the global economy and insurance industry over the next decade, reflecting a continuing shift of economic power from west to east, according to Swiss Re Institute’s latest sigma report ...
New Program to Accelerate Offshore Wind Projects in Developing Countries
March, 08 2019
Global - The World Bank and IFC will work with public and private sector partners to undertake technical studies and develop national strategies to facilitate the adoption of this increasingly cost-competitive technology ...
José Antonio González, Former Minister of Finance of Mexico: Don’t Let Emerging Markets Be the ‘Something That Breaks’
March, 08 2019
Global - Although it is sensitive to the repercussions of its policy decisions, the Fed has its own clear monetary mandate. Emerging market economies are “price takers” of monetary policy from the Fed and should adjust accordingly ...
Pakistan: Microfinance - Growing in Numbers
March, 08 2019
Pakistan - Despite the political instability and economic worries through much of 2018, nothing could stop the microfinance juggernaut. Latest data released by the microfinance sector’s representative body, the Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN), show a continuation of healthy year-on-year growth in all three key areas – credit, savings, and insurance – for the year ended December 31, 2018 ...
Banking Women: Why Access to Finance Rwanda Thinks Women Are the Future
March, 08 2019
Rwanda - Women in Rwanda have long been left out on financial inclusion efforts and have not been able to take advantage of financial products and services that are tailored to their roles as mothers, entrepreneurs, employees and in some cases, breadwinners ...
Omidyar Network Spins out Financial Inclusion Fintech Investment Arm with $300m Pot
March, 08 2019
Global - The Omidyar Network is spinning off its financial inclusion investment unit, launching a new venture firm with a $300 million pot for backing startups helping people around the world capture economic opportunity ...
National Development Banks Are Back in Vogue
March, 07 2019
Global - NDBs are a unique species. Generally state-owned, they lend in pursuit of missions set out by the government. They cater to those often neglected by commercial bankers, lending to small firms, farmers or exporters, or funding infrastructure projects. Many banks seek to marry purpose with profitability. But achieving this in practice is not easy ...
How Housing Microfinance in Africa Can Improve Quality of Life
March, 07 2019
Africa - Access to adequate housing for low-income earners is a critical development issue globally. A safe and stable home is the first step to a productive, healthy life. Yet owning a home is beyond the reach of the vast majority ...
J. Hale, Head of Sustainability Research, Morningstar: A Taxonomy of Sustainable Funds
March, 07 2019
US - Jon Hale writes about the continued growth in the number and size of sustainable funds available to U.S. investors and the funds' performance in 2018. The article also proposes a taxonomy of sustainable funds that investors can use to help them navigate this increasingly relevant and complex investment area ...
How Fintech Should Help to Close the Gender Gap in Business Lending
March, 07 2019
Global - The number of women-owned businesses has been steadily increasing globally. Despite this, accessing finance to start or grow their business remains a struggle for many women. A study by the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Kansas City found that women are less likely to be approved for business loans than men. Worse, according to Fundera, women on average receive smaller loan amounts and will often be charged higher interest rates by banks than men ...
Can New Rules Rouse Mobile Money Giants?
March, 07 2019
Africa - During MWC19 Barcelona, the GSMA released its annual mobile money report, which showed further astounding growth in Africa. But there remains several large countries in the region with low financial inclusion rates, where operators are struggling to make the impact they would lik ...
Egypt's Microfinance Market Grows by Over 100% Y-o-Y: EFG Finance Holding CEO
March, 06 2019
Egypt - Microfinance has been growing in Egypt at a very high pace, with more than 100% annual growth rate because in the past 3-4 years, the banks have been challenged in reaching the unbanked ...
B. Edes, Representative of the North American Office, ADB: Why Investing in Women and Girls Will Take off in 2019
March, 06 2019
Global - Bart Édes of Asian Development Bank writes about the growing body of evidence suggesting that empowering women is critical to boosting global prosperity ...
Is Social Impact Investing Really Only for Millennials?
March, 06 2019
Global - Those aged 35 and older are at least as likely to want investments that have a positive impact as so-called millennials, those aged 25-34. ...
Pakistan: Financial Inclusion Strategy to Create 3m Jobs in Five Years
March, 06 2019
Pakistan - The government is fully committed to improving the livelihood of Pakistanis through job creation, promoting entrepreneurship and enhancing access to formal financial services in an efficient and affordable manner, emphasised Finance Minister Asad Umar ...
Financial Inclusion to Promote Energy Efficiency in India?
March, 06 2019
India - Although, financial development is more correlated with the functioning of the capital markets and the FDI inflow of a nation, the aspect of financial inclusion is what will drive energy efficiency in rural India. A shift in policy focus may be needed in current times to develop financial systems at the grass root level in order to enhance access to cleaner energy. ...
Reducing the Barriers to Financial Access: Plans for Papua New Guinea
March, 05 2019
Papua New Guinea - A 2018 review by the Bank of Papua New Guinea and International Finance Corporation into financial services found challenges with equal access to financial products, especially for poorer families and women ...
Inadequate ATM Infra Could Hit India's Financial Inclusion Plan
March, 05 2019
India - ​​In a presentation made to the Reserve Bank of India’s committee on deepening of digital payments, headed by Infosys cofounder Nandan Nilekani, the industry body suggested an increase in the fee to Rs 18 from Rs 15 currently for financial transactions and to Rs 8 from Rs 5 for non-financial transactions ...
Vietnam’s Solar Policy Risks Becoming Victim of its Own Success
March, 04 2019
Vietnam - Vietnam’s push to develop solar power has been too successful. Lured in by generous feed-in-tariffs, projects are lined up for approvals to generate gigawatts of power that the current network simply cannot handle. ...
Sri Lanka: UN Urges Govt. to Declare Moratorium on Repayments of Microfinance Loans
March, 04 2019
Sri Lanka - A senior UN official has urged the Government to declare a moratorium on repayments of loans obtained from microfinance companies, until it adopts and implements a robust and strict regulatory framework to order to prevent groups at heightened risk – in particular women – from being exploited further by lenders ...
Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to Introduce Digital Payment Systems
March, 03 2019
Pacific Islands - Under the Pacific Payments Project, by the International Finance Corporation, IFC, and its sister organization, the World Bank, an Automated Transfer System (ATS) will be set up allowing banks to be connected with their respective central bank and with each other, for the electronic transfer of payments ...
Emerging Market Default Rates Remain Low Despite Crises
March, 02 2019
Global - Just 1.4 per cent of the non-financial EM corporate bonds rated by Moody’s defaulted in 2018, the rating agency said, the second lowest figure since 2012 and below the equivalent rate for advanced countries, 1.6 per cent, for the third straight year. ...
India: DFID's Development Capital Exit Proves the Investment Approach to Microfinance Works
March, 01 2019
India - Four years after the Department for International Development (DFID), a department of the UK Government that seeks to promote sustainable development and eliminate world poverty, invested in a microfinance firm in the state of Odisha, it has announced a successful partial exit ...
MENA: This Organization Raised $377 Million in Funding for Young Entrepreneurs and Created 1 Million Jobs
March, 01 2019
MENA - Silatech, founded at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Forum in 2008, has raised over $377M to fund businesses started by young people, helping to create a loose, homegrown startup ecosystem spanning 17 countries across the region ...
More Togolese Prefer Trusting their Savings to Friends and Relatives than to Traditional Financial Institutions
March, 01 2019
Togo - Togolese are more inclined to trust their savings to a friend or relative, than to traditional financial institutions. This was revealed in the World Bank’s Little Data Book on Financial Inclusion 2018 ...
What Have We Learned from Sandboxes and Innovation Offices?
March, 01 2019
Global - If properly regulated, technology-enabled financial services such as mobile payments, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, alternative credit scoring, and new forms of savings and insurance, can accelerate the rise in financial inclusion for the 1.7 billion people worldwide who do not have a bank account ...

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