Category: Interest Rates

SPECIAL REPORT: Youth Are Less Risky Borrowers? European Microfinance Week Participants on Serving Young People via Leasing, Peer Education, Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs)

Countering the perception that youth are riskier borrowers than older clients, Maria Perdermo, the manager of the UN Capital Development Fund’s YouthStart program, recently presented data from seven African microfinance institutions (MFIs) showing that all but one have lower rates of portfolio at risk (PAR) within the segments of their portfolios serving youth than organization-wide. Nonetheless, she noted, youth often make up a disproportionately small share of an MFI’s customer base because loan officers believe they are less likely than others to repay, which would threaten the bonus that many loan officers receive when more of their clients do repay their loans. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: European Microfinance Week Participants: Transparency, Competition, Product-specific Rate Caps Can Lower Microloan Interest Rates

To open the two-day conference portion of European Microfinance Week, which is hosted by the 130-member, Luxembourg-based European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), panelists and attendees addressed “Balancing financial inclusion, market stability and client protection.” Narda Sotomayor, who leads the Department of Microfinance Analysis at Peru’s Superintendencia de Banca, Seguros y Administradoras Privadas de Fondos de Pensiones, stated that “MFIs [microfinance institutions] moving further down market to serve new people is risky, as this group has less financial education, less collateral. An institution’s credit portfolio can deteriorate quickly unless its lending methodology is revised as part of a dynamic process.” On the issue of increasing financial capability, she added, “We find synergies between financial education and stability. This also leads to benefits for institutions and the whole system.” Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) Launches $807m Long-Term Rural Credit Fund

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), a development bank in India that formulates certain credit and banking policies, recently announced the launch of the long-term rural credit fund, which will provide INR 5,000 crores (USD 807 million) for refinancing agricultural loans disbursed by cooperative banks and regional rural banks (RRBs). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institutions in Ghana to Charge Clients Unspecified Fee for Maintaining Deposits Beginning in October 2014

According to a statement attributed to Mr. Collins Amponsah, the board chairman of the Ghana association of microfinance companies (GAMC), an association of 560 member companies providing microfinance services, all Ghanaian microfinance institutions (MFIs) that are members of GAMC will begin charging clients an unspecified fee for managing their deposits beginning in October of 2014. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Issues First Disbursements from $1.36b Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) After 2 Years of Delay

President Goodwill Jonathan of Nigeria officially launched the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Fund at the eighth MSME finance conference in Abuja, Nigeria, where he announced the provision of NGN 870 million (USD 5.36 million) from the NGN 220 billion (USD 1.36 billion) fund to four beneficiaries Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) of Bangladesh Warns of Punishment for Non-compliant MFIs

The Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA), a Bangladeshi government body that oversees the operations of nongovernmental organization (NGO) microfinance institutions (MFIs), reportedly has issued a warning to MFIs in the country in response to violations of MRA regulations such as the requirement of a 15-day grace period on new loans before collecting loan repayments as well as the use of a declining-balance method of calculating interest. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Unfixes Microloan Interest Rate Cap to Vary Based on Cost of Funding

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, has announced that as of April 1, 2014, it will remove the 26-percent interest rate cap established in 2011 on all microloans extended by microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Microcredit Interest Rate Determinants; Mobile Phones and Microinsurance; Health Financing Through Gifts and Remittances in Kenya

“Microcredit Interest Rates and Their Determinants 2004-2011;” by Richard Rosenberg, Scott Gaul, William Ford and Olga Tomilova; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); June 2013; 32 pages; available at http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/Forum-Microcredit-Interest-Rates-and-Their-Determinants-June-2013_1.pdf

This study explores the factors affecting the determination of interest rates that microfinance institutions (MFIs) charge their customers by analyzing financial data reported from 2004 to 2011 by MFIs to the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), a US-based nonprofit data provider. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: Why Microfinance Institutions Offer Unprofitable Housing Loans

On November 14, the closing day of the European Microfinance Platform’s (e-MFP’s) European Microfinance Week, Wilson Twamuhabwa, CEO of Uganda’s Ugafode Microfinance Limited, explained that his organization began to offer housing loan products partly because its clients were using 30 percent of their loans for housing anyway. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: “Making Microfinance Investment Responsible” Group Wrestles with Inconsistent Data Reporting at European Microfinance Week

On this first day of European Microfinance Week, which is hosted by the 140-member European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) of Luxembourg, e-MFP’s “Making Microfinance Investment Responsible” Action Group convened to work on the data it has collected on client protection from 10 microfinance investors, rating agencies and NGOs. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Companies in Ghana Allegedly “Reaping Heavily” from Small Businesses via High Interest Rates

Microfinance companies in Ghana reportedly are “reaping heavily” from high interest rates charged to consumers, who are often unaware of the flat-rate interest calculation method used by most microfinance companies that forces borrowers to pay interest on the initial loan amount rather than on their remaining balance. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria Launches $1.3b Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s central banking authority, reportedly has launched a NGN 220 billion (USD 1.3 billion) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Fund, which is intended to offer loans to microfinance institutions (MFIs) at an interest rate of 9 percent or less per year [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nepal’s Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) See 21% Growth in Profit During 2013-2014 Amidst Concerns over High Interest Rates Charged to Borrowers

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Nepal reportedly are experiencing a period of growth that some say can be attributed to high interest rates charged to borrowers. Continue reading

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