News

Print
Apr 2019
Do Regulatory Sandboxes Impact Financial Inclusion? A Look at the Data
April, 30 2019
Global - Findings raise the question as to whether sandboxes are living up to their potential and whether their impact can be improved with design tweaks. We believe that shifting to thematic sandboxes would be effective. ...
Philippines: Fintech Can Boost Financial Inclusion for Migrant Workers
April, 30 2019
Philippines - Fintech companies should take responsibility for helping people who are unaccustomed to digital money management understand technology, how it works and how to use it to gain control of their finances safely and responsibly ...
Myanmar Drives towards QR Codes, with 74% Unbanked, this is a Large Step for Financial Inclusion
April, 29 2019
Myanmar - Almost everyone in the country owns a cell phone, with 87% penetration. The mobile device is what will be used to bring the country onboard to electronic payments, and they will do it with QR codes ...
Malaysia: Islamic Finance Has Prominent Role in Financial Inclusion, Says Securities Commission Chairman
April, 29 2019
Malaysia - Over 46 million individuals from Islamic countries have chosen to exclude themselves from formal financial services due to religious reasons ...
Impact Forestry Funds Eye 8% Returns, Says GIIN Report
April, 29 2019
Global - Sustainable and impact forestry sector presents strong opportunity for impact investors, with annualized gross returns ranging from 7 to 18%, according to report from GII ...
BRAC Uganda Bank Launched
April, 29 2019
Uganda - BRAC, one of the largest microfinance providers in Uganda, has been transformed into a Tier 2 Credit Institution (CI) to broaden the range of financial services it provides to low-income communities ...
New Investor Alliance Launches to Tackle SDG Financing
April, 26 2019
Global - The United Nations has announced the creation of a Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance, which will bring together a group of CEOs as part of its efforts to more closely align the international financial system with the 2030 agenda ...
Nigeria: CBN Reiterates Commitment to Curbing Poverty through Microcredit
April, 26 2019
Nigeria - The CBN has recently carried out some reforms in the microfinance sub-sector, with the aim of increasing the share of microcredit to at least 20 percent by 2020 ...
Pakistan: Agreement Signed - PMN, TMB to Digitize Microfinance Industry via DSP
April, 25 2019
Pakistan - Digital Services Platform will enable Microfinance Providers to ride on the rail road of Digital Financial Service Providers with the twin objectives of increasing accessibility for clients and bringing efficiency through available distribution channel ...
India: Impact Fund Omnivore Announces Final Close for Fund 2 at $97M
April, 25 2019
India - Agritech-focused impact fund Omnivore has announced the final close of its second fund, Omnivore Partners India Fund 2, at $97 million. The fund will continue to back entrepreneurs working to make agriculture more profitable, stable, and sustainable ...
India: Prevent Abuse by Dominant Fintech - Bank of International Settlements
April, 25 2019
India - Regulators must play a huge role in ensuring policy framework to support new age fintech players to compete with the incumbents to build rival networks and protect consumer rights. ...
Amit Bouri, GIIN, CEO: Commentary - Has Impact Investing Reached a Fork in the Road?
April, 25 2019
Global - Transformative change requires deliberate, focused, coordinated action from visionaries committed to a new future. And we have to make it faster than ever — because slow and steady will not win this race ...
Small Business Lending on the Rise for Egyptian Women
April, 25 2019
Egypt - Small businesses continue to serve as a gateway into a better economic life for many Egyptian women, especially in the country’s rural areas and Upper Egypt ...
An Incentive for Companies that Deliver on Sustainability: Lower-Cost Capital
April, 24 2019
Global - The new financial products are based on the proposition that sustainability improvements can reduce costs and risks enough to deliver an acceptable return to lenders even at a lower interest rate ...
Blue Bonds Get Boost from TNC and World Bank
April, 24 2019
Global - TNC aims for $1.6 billion impact of blue bonds by 2025; Morgan Stanley commits to financing plastic reduction for oceans ...
No End to Poverty without Financial Inclusion, says World Bank
April, 24 2019
Global - The growth of technology including fintech is now offering a promising new avenue to accelerate the efforts already under way to narrow these gaps ...
How Developing Nations Use Tech to Reach the ‘Underbanked’
April, 24 2019
Africa and Middle East - The small size of loans made to low-income borrowers render them relatively expensive to administer for the microfinance lenders. Technology can achieve economies of scale that bring these overheads down. ...
There’s an Untapped Market for ESG Investing
April, 24 2019
Global - More investors than research has shown are interested in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, but most don't speak out, and many need education to help them invest in what matters to them ...
Digital Transformation to Boost Financial Inclusion in the Philippines
April, 23 2019
Philippines - Digital transformation should spur a complete change in mindset to allow for continuous and consistent innovation ...
India: Capital Need of Microfinance Firms to Shrink Ahead - ICRA
April, 23 2019
India - Kolkata: Capital requirement for microfinance firms may shrink in the next few years, with many of them adopting new business models requiring less capital ...
WAEMU : Togo Records Highest Increase in Deposits at Microfinance Institutions in 2018
April, 23 2019
Togo - In 2018, Togo was within the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), the country that recorded the highest increase in money deposits at microfinance institutions, or decentralized financial systems (DFS), knowingly +24.8%. ...
Cambodia: Microfinance Institutions Propel Financial Literacy in Rural Areas
April, 23 2019
Cambodia - Microfinance institutions in Cambodia are playing a dual role in the rural economy by providing much needed funding for business as well as promoting financial literacy ...
Investors' Appetite for Impact Investing Could Be $26 t - IFC Report
April, 21 2019
Global - Investors’ appetite for impact investing - in which they seek to generate positive impact for society alongside strong financial returns - could be $26 trillion, according to a new report issued by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group ...
EBRD Allocates First Syndicated Loan for Kazakhstan Microfinance Group
April, 18 2019
Kazakhstan - Micro, small and medium-sized companies in Kazakhstan will benefit from a syndicated loan of up to $ 50 million arranged by the EBRD for the country’s largest micro-finance organization, KMF, Trend reports with reference to EBRD ...
Adopting Common ESG Investing Standards May Not Be a Panacea
April, 18 2019
Global - ESG investing is growing in popularity, but adopting a set of investment standards at this early stage of its development could prove far too restrictive for many investors' liking ...
Women Can Change Face of Africa with Enough Access to Finance
April, 17 2019
Africa - Access to finance by women in Africa is critical if the continent is to attain the sustainable development goals, Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) Deputy Executive Secretary, Giovanie Biha said Tuesday ...
Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Fintech Revolution
April, 17 2019
Global - Financial innovations are unlike other inventions in that they can directly impact the efficiency of the financial sector, which is how savings and investment are intermediated in an economy – and which then affect growth ...
Acumen Closes $70m Impact Fund for Clean Energy in Africa
April, 17 2019
Africa - Jacqueline Novogratz’s impact investing group closed an almost $70-million fund to back companies delivering affordable and renewable energy to mostly poor consumers in East Africa ...
What Investors Actually Want from Sustainability Data
April, 17 2019
Global - To account for the effects of a world in flux, more investors are pursuing strategies that consider relevant environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, an approach known broadly as sustainable investing. In 2017 alone, assets managed through such an approach increased by 37 percent, according to Bloomberg ...
South Africa: Western Union CashSend Now Available on Absa App
April, 16 2019
South Africa - Absa says it has now made CashSend and payments via Western Union available on its app, claiming a banking first for South Africa ...
The Road to a More Financially Inclusive India
April, 16 2019
India - The burning question for the next gen financial domain entrepreneur is: What is the next big wave of innovations in payments ...
How Digital Remittances Can Help Drive Sustainable Development
April, 15 2019
Global - Innovative solutions are already beginning to shift the landscape of remittance services by reducing cost and increasing convenience for senders of remittances and their families ...
Nicaraguan Small Business Lenders Losing Clients Big Time
April, 15 2019
Nicaragua - The companies associated with the Microfinance Association lost 22% of their portfolio and 21% of their clients. This translates into nearly 117,500 clients, signifying a greater number of families that will see their incomes diminish ...
Kenya: IFC Lends Equity Bank Sh10bn to Support SMEs and Green Projects
April, 15 2019
Kenya - IFC’s loan facility will assist Equity Bank increase its capital base and expand its lending program to SMEs and climate finance operations that support renewable energy, green buildings, energy efficiency, and climate-smart agricultural projects ...
China’s Small Business Lending Push Could Equal US$418 billion in New Loans, S&P Global Says
April, 15 2019
China - Financial-inclusion MSE loans still make up a relatively small contribution to the banking sector's total loan portfolio, and the government is providing a number of supports to offset the burden ...
World Bank Arm Launches ‘Impact Investment’ Standards
April, 12 2019
Global - A coalition of 60 asset managers and institutional investors has signed up to new standards designed to accelerate the growth of so-called “impact” investments that aim to deliver positive benefits to society ...
East African Countries Are Setting the Pace for Financial Inclusion in Africa
April, 12 2019
East Africa - Governments in other parts of sub-Saharan Africa should take a cue from the Horn of Africa, by creating an enabling regulatory environment for mobile money and other financial inclusion initiatives to thrive ...
India: Unitus, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Back Education Loan Startup Eduvanz
April, 11 2019
India - Eduvanz's long-term vision is to offer loan products that will focus on supporting financial requirements for K-12 (kindergarten to twelfth grade), online skill development courses and professional courses ...
WaterEquity Announces Closing of its US$50 million Flagship Impact Investment Fund
April, 11 2019
Asia - By investing in financial institutions and water and sanitation enterprises throughout India, Indonesia, Cambodia, and the Philippines, the fund aims to help 4.6 million people gain access to safe water or sanitation ...
Central Bank of Sri Lanka Launches Roadmap to Raise Financial Sector's Contribution to Sustainable Development
April, 11 2019
Sri Lanka - By providing policy guidelines and recommendations for responding to ESG risks and opportunities, the Roadmap aims to green the whole financial sector and help build a more resilient and sustainable economy. ...
OPIC Provides $5m Loan to BRAC Myanmar Microfinance
April, 10 2019
Myanmar - The financing will help BRAC Myanmar provide more loans and increase financial inclusion in Myanmar, a country where less than 26 per cent of the adult population has access to formal financial services ...
Nigeria: FG Uses Technology to Scale the Largest Government-led Microcredit Scheme in the World
April, 10 2019
Nigeria - GEEP started in 2016 and has empowered 1.8 million micro-enterprises with collateral-free, interest-free loans to grow their businesses; making it the largest government-led microcredit program globally ...
D. Nascimento, Chief Investment Officer at Richmond Global Compass Fund: Why Hasn't Sustainable Investing Gone Viral Yet?
April, 09 2019
Global - With Leonardo DiCaprio raising awareness on climate change, Emma Watson advocating for gender equality and Matt Damon co-founding a company to address water scarcity, sustainability has gone mainstream. So what has prevented this movement from extending further into the financial markets ...
C. Bartlett, M. Eastman: How Perceptions of Risk May Be Creating the “Missing-Middle” Funding Gap
April, 09 2019
Global - The prevailing view of SMEs’ challenging access to funding just might be wrongly conceived. What if the problem is not with the SMEs, but instead lies with the capital providers and their understanding of risk? ...
India: IFC to Offer $150 mn in Debt Funding to Piramal Capital
April, 09 2019
India - International Finance Corporation plans to make a debt investment of $150 million (Rs 1,043 crore at current exchange rate) in mortgage lender Piramal Capital & Housing Finance Ltd ...
With Debt as Well as Equity, Pomona Is Demonstrating Impact Investing in Central America
April, 09 2019
Central America - The fund manager is busy raising a $35 million second fund to deploy into high-growth enterprises in Central America, in agriculture, as well as basic services including health, education, water and renewable energy. ...
Global Sustainable Investing Assets Surged to $30 trillion in 2018
April, 08 2019
Global - Sustainable investment has surged worldwide by more than a third since 2016, reaching assets of more than $30 trillion at the start of last year, new global financial analysis released last week has found ...
A. Demirguc-Kunt, World Bank Chief Economist for Europe and Central Asia: Financial Inclusion in Europe and Central Asia- The Way Forward?
April, 08 2019
Global - Over the past decade, account ownership has been increasing overall in Europe and Central Asia – from 45% of the adult population in 2011 to 65% in 2017 – but the data masks differences across subregions. In the high-income countries of Europe, most adults already own an account, and about 55% save formally in a financial institution. However, countries in the South Caucasus and Central Asia, despite important increases in recent years, have much lower levels of banked adults ...
Fintech Start-up Branch Raises Funding for EM Lending Push
April, 08 2019
Global - Branch International, a Silicon Valley-based start-up that offers loans to first-time borrowers and customers without bank accounts in Africa, India and Mexico, has raised $170m in new financing ...
SSA to Remain Significant Region for Impact Investing
April, 08 2019
Sub-Saharan Africa - The impact investing market in Sub-Saharan Africa continues to demonstrate strong momentum, according to Rachel Bass (pictured), Research Manager at The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) ...
Zimbabwe: Parly Reviews Microfinance Laws
April, 07 2019
Zimbabwe - Zimbabwean lawmakers will this week start the process of changing laws governing microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country to strengthen supervision of the sector ...
Islamic Banking in Ethiopia Offers Muslims Financial Inclusion
April, 05 2019
Ethiopia - Sharia-compliant finance boosts financial inclusion in Ethiopia, but a fully-fledged Islamic bank has yet to take root ...
Myanmar: US Development Fund Providing Micro Lending to Small Farmers
April, 04 2019
Myanmar - The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, has committed $8 million to Proximity Finance to support expanded micro lending to rural borrowers, primarily smallholder farmers, in Myanmar ...
What Self-help Lending Says about Ethiopian Banking
April, 04 2019
Ethiopia - Rotating savings-and-credit associations are entrenched in Ethiopian culture. But their ubiquity is also an indication of the shortcomings of Ethiopian finance ...
Kenya Is the Third-Most Financially Inclusive Country in Africa
April, 04 2019
Kenya - The recent 2019 FinAccess household survey conducted by FSD Kenya has revealed that Kenya is the third most financially inclusive country in Africa behind Seychelles and South Africa ...
Jamaica Development Bank to Ramp up Lending
April, 04 2019
Jamaica - Jamaica's 2019-20 budget, approved March 23 and going into effect April 1, includes a major push from the government to boost lending to MSMEs as well as tax cuts, measures that look to produce an increase in loan applications ...
Leading the Way to a More Impactful Future for Israeli Investments
April, 04 2019
Israel - In Israel, impact investing has enjoyed rapid growth in recent years, doubling from an estimated $130m. in 2016 to $260m. in 2018, but large sections of the private sector still remain hesitant to change their traditional investment practices ...
Microfinance to Mega Dreams: Aspiration Should Be to Financially Include Over 400 Million Lives in India
April, 04 2019
India - In terms of reach, microfinance sector has created an astonishing last-mile connectivity infrastructure where over 60,000 lending officers meet 100% of their clients every week/ fortnight/ month. ...
Philippines: Going Digital ‘Critical’ for Banks’ Financial Inclusion Push
April, 04 2019
Philippines - The digital transformation of financial institutions in the country is “critical” in the industry-wide push to include more Filipinos into the formal financial system amid an opportunity in its large population connected to the internet, a partner from McKinsey & Co. said ...
M-Pesa Helps Drive up Kenyans' Access to Financial Services - Study
April, 03 2019
Kenya - The proportion of Kenya’s population with access to formal financial services rose to 83 percent from 75 percent in 2016, driven largely by mobile technology, a survey part-conducted by the central bank showed on Wednesday ...
Global Impact Investing Network Publishes Standards Guide
April, 03 2019
Global - The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), today launches its Core Characteristics of Impact Investing, four tenets that define the growing space of impact investing and will provide financial markets with greater clarity on what constitutes credible impact investing practice ...
Ghana: BoG Asks for GHS700m to Clean up Microfinance Industry
April, 03 2019
Ghana - The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has requested for financial support from the Ministry of Finance to clean up the microfinance and savings and loans industry to save thousands of depositors from losing their funds ...
Bangladesh: Microfinance - A Solution towards Climate Change Adaptation
April, 03 2019
Bangladesh - Promoting climate adaptive microfinance to people who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change can play a massive role in enhancing the adaptive capacity of local communities. ...
India: How Self-Helf Groups Continue to End Poverty, Liberate Women
April, 03 2019
India - The SHG movement has been instrumental in mainstreaming women by-passed by the banking system. It has offered space for different stakeholders to innovate, learn and replicate ...
Two West African Microfinance Institutions to Receive €12mln from the European Investment Bank
April, 03 2019
West Africa - The European Investment Bank (BEI) has opened a €12 million credit line for Grameen Crédit Agricole that invests in microfinance institutions in emerging countries. ...
Yunus, BNP Paribas Launch ClimateSeed
April, 02 2019
Global - The agreement marks the launch of a five-year global partnership that will see the Grameen Creative Lab (GCL) and BNP Paribas working together to roll out social businesses within the BNP Paribas Group ...
European Pension Funds Move to Operationalize their Impact Strategies
April, 02 2019
Europe - Institutional investors in Europe are expanding their Impact investing mandates and relaxing restrictions that had blocked the deployment of capital. ...
Global Impact Investing Market Soars above $500bn
April, 01 2019
Global - What claims to be the first comprehensive estimate of the global impact investing market has put the current figure at $502bn ...
Unlocking the Potential of SMEs in Emerging Markets
April, 01 2019
Global - In any jungle the big beasts get the attention. But in business, just as in the natural world, it’s the thousands of smaller beings that make for a thriving ecosystem ...
LuxFLAG Labelling Now Emcompasses 117 Funds
April, 01 2019
Luxembourg - LuxFLAG, the Luxembourg labelling agency, has added another 15 funds to its programme, taking the total to 117 products. The new labels cover ESG funds, while a further 13 funds have had their Microfinance labels renewed ...
BRICS: New Development Bank to Focus on Greater Sustainability
April, 01 2019
BRICS - The Bank now looks to go beyond the do-no-harm approach to incorporate a more transformative approach to development ...

Research Analysis Tools

The fund indexes, institution benchmarks and other market information displayed here are all Symbiotics designed analysis tools, created in-house by our analysts and experts. Symbiotics has one of the oldest track records in microfinance investment analysis dating back to the late 1990s; its indexes and benchmarks have been regularly used as markers by investors, asset managers, financial institutions and practitioners. These, as well as several other research products, are available through the Research Account. Click on the link below to find out more.

Learn More