MICROFINANCE EVENT: Asia-Pacific Financial Inclusion Summit, Hanoi, Vietnam, March 21-22, 2017

Event Name: Asia-Pacific Financial Inclusion Summit

Event Date: March 21-22, 2017; optional field visits on March 23, 2017

Event Location: JW Marriott Hotel, Hanoi, Vietnam

Event Summary: Themed “Advancing Financial Inclusion in a Digital Age,” this event will include plenaries on topics such as collaboration and regulating digital financial services. Breakout sessions will address topics such as blockchain technology, gender, serving youth and reaching “the last mile.” On March 23, participants may visit with staff and clients of either Tinh Thuong Microfinance Institution or

SPECIAL REPORT: The Impact of Finance on the Development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) in Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam

ThisBanking With the Poor Network discussion of supporting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) centered on (1) building systems to boost institutions’ confidence in lending to the sector; and (2) the non-financial needs of MSMEs.

Gerald Sun, Vice President, Head of Sales for Commercial Payments Asia/Pacific at MasterCard Worldwide, said “the banks have trouble making a risk assessment cheaply enough. They lend to big organizations based on their income. For SMEs [small and medium enterprises], they revert to looking at assets as they would for consumer lending. The bank can value a house or car, but not a ton of fertilized chicken eggs.” MasterCard is addressing this issue by

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC, Cathay United Bank Loaning $50m to VPBank for SMEs in Vietnam with Support From Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, and Cathay United Bank, a Taiwan-based commercial bank, recently announced that they will each lend USD 25 million to Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) to support small businesses in Vietnam.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: GlobeOne, Eximbank to Bring New Mobile Banking, Internet Platform to Vietnam

GlobeOne, a US-based company providing a mobile platform for the provision of financial services, recently signed a letter of intent with Eximbank, a joint-stock commercial bank that is controlled by the Vietnamese government, to bring its platform to Vietnam.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Provide Consulting Services to An Binh Joint Stock Commercial Bank (ABBANK) to Finance Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), an arm of the US-based World Bank Group, recently announced that it has signed a “project services agreement” with An Binh Joint Stock Commercial Bank (ABBANK), a Vietnamese commercial bank.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) Deploys Intellect Core Banking Solution of Indian Software Firm Polaris

The Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP), a government-owned bank that offers microfinance and other services in Vietnam, recently has deployed the Intellect (R) Core Banking Solution (CBS), an enterprise platform offered by India-based Polaris Financial Technology Limited (Polaris) [1].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Singapore’s Tagit, Vietnam’s Smartlink Launch Mobile Banking Service in Vietnam

Tagit, a Singaporean mobile technology company, reportedly has partnered with Vietnamese mobile payment provider Smartlink to launch a mobile banking service that will link the customers of 51 financial institutions and insurance providers.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vietnam’s Ministry of Health and Social Insurance to Provide Free Health Insurance to Poor People

The Ministry of Health of Vietnam and Vietnam Social Insurance, a government-funded organization that offers insurance to workers, reportedly will issue health insurance cards free of charge to families living close to or below the poverty line.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation, BNP Paribas to Loan $25m to Vietnam’s Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Women-owned Businesses

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the World Bank Group, has agreed to provide a syndicated loan of USD 25 million toVietnam’s Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank to expand financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and women-owned businesses.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) to Implement Microfinance Sector Development Project Including Legal Framework, Capacity Development Through 2020

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), a Vietnamese government agency, recently has announced plans to implement a microfinance sector development project in the country until 2020.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Small-Scale Solar Power Projects, Health Worker Preferences for Insurance Payment Mechanisms, Effects of Microinsurance on Poor People in Vietnam

“Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2011;” by Angus McCrone, et al; published by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Frankfurt School UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance; July 2011; 61 pages; available at:
http://www.fs-unep-centre.org/publications/global-trends-renewable-energy-investment-2011

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vietnam Sets 10-Year Microfinance Strategy, French Development Agency Donates $1.3m

The Prime Minister of Vietnam recently approved a National Microfinance Strategy, which aims to develop a safe and sustainable microfinance system to ensure social welfare and sustainable poverty eradication in the country

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Triodos Invests in Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Advans Ghana, KixiCrédito of Angola, TYM Fund of Vietnam, Belarusian Bank for Small Business

Triodos Investment Management, a Netherlands-based manager of four microfinance investment funds, recently reported to MicroCapital that it has invested an undisclosed amount of funds in four microfinance institutions (MFIs): Advans Ghana Savings and Loans Limited, KixiCrédito of Angola, TYM Fund of Vietnam and Belarusian Bank for Small Business (BBSB) [1].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Citi Foundation Donating $1m to Habitat for Humanity for Microsavings, Housing Assistance, Financial Education in the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam

The Citi Foundation, the charitable arm of US-based financial services conglomerate Citigroup, will provide a USD 1 million grant to Habitat for Humanity, a US-based nonprofit organization that focuses on affordable housing, to develop the “Citi-Habitat Home Improvement Microsavings Program.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Dariu Foundation Increases Microfinance Lending in Vietnam Amidst Inflationary Pressures, Rising Interest Rates

The Dariu Foundation (TDF), a Vietnam-based microfinance institution (MFI), amidst double-digit inflation and increasing domestic interest rates, has seen a 25-percent increase in the number of new clients served and a 47-percent increase in the number of loans disbursed during the first five months of this year compared to the same period last year.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Manulife Financial Introduces Life Microinsurance Product for Philippines, Plans to Expand Sales in Vietnam

Consistent with its plans reported by MicroCapital in March, Manulife Philippines, a subsidiary of Canada-based Manulife Financial, has launched a microinsurance product that provides life and accident protection to low-income Filipinos.