Category: Interest Rates

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microbank LOLC (Cambodia) Authorized to Offer Leasing Services

LOLC (Cambodia) Plc, a microfinance institution that is 60-percent owned by LOLC Micro Investment of Sri Lanka, recently received approval from the National Bank of Cambodia to offer leasing services. It is reportedly the first MFI to gain such permission. Beginning in March, LOLC (Cambodia) expects to offer both businesses and Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nepal Sets Microloan Interest Rate Maximum of 18%

The Nepalese central bank, Nepal Rastra Bank, reportedly has capped microloan rates at 18 percent per year following complaints of microfinance institutions (MFIs) “distributing high dividends by charging borrowers, who are often poor people in rural areas, exorbitant rates…as high as 30 percent.” This follows the declaration of Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Zimbabwe Loosens Microfinance Regulations in Effort to Boost Investment; Deliver Range of Services to More Women, Youth

The government of Zimbabwe recently liberalized its Microfinance Act with provisions such as extending the validity of microfinance institution (MFI) license renewals from one to three years. Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, was quoted as saying financial institution “charges are just too high. With MFIs, it mostly has to do with the fact that investment in the sector is just too low, so companies just end up passing their costs to clients…. Zimbabwe seeks to unlock economic opportunities, especially for the women and youths by expanding access to savings, Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Lessons on IPOs from Indian MFIs; Growth In Impact Investing; 10-Year Survey of Microfinance Investment Vehicles

“How to IPO Successfully and Responsibly: Lessons From Indian Financial Inclusion Institutions”; by Anna Kanze; published by the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) at Accion; Fall 2016; 25 pages; available at: http://www.centerforfinancialinclusion.org/storage/documents/How_to_IPO_Final.pdf

This report draws upon two recent initial public offerings (IPOs) in the financial inclusion industry – those of Equitas and Ujjivan, both microfinance lenders in India – to make the case that institutions can use IPOs to strengthen their capital base while remaining committed to their social missions. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: Digital Financial Services: Providing a “Ladder” Out of Poverty or Creating “Financial Exclusion”?

At European Microfinance PlatformFriday’s closing session of European Microfinance Week, representatives of Luxembourg-based MyBucks, US-based Opportunity International and India-based MicroSave argued about the risks and rewards of digital finance services. Vicki Escarra, the CEO of Opportunity International, said, “What we’ve done over the past five years to get to very rural areas is to use these digital channels.… To focus on women in Africa – not just women, but women living in Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: Evolving Regulations Obscure the Future of Microfinance in Myanmar

Paul European Microfinance PlatformLuchtenburg, who serves as coordinator for the UN Capital Development Fund in Myanmar, described several of the contrasts in the microfinance industry in Myanmar at European Microfinance Week Thursday. Five years into civilian rule, Mr Luchtenburg says “I’ve never seen a government work so hard. You go to a meeting and the results go up the leadership chain that night…. There’s this rapid push for development.” To accept deposits, institutions must pay at least 10 percent per year and be deemed “sustainable” by the government. However, lending rates are capped at 2.5 percent per month, a level that all of the panelists agreed was too low, especially for serving rural areas. Rommel Caringal, the CEO of the local unit of US-based VisionFund, said, “The inconsistency is causing big problems, but Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kenyan Government Caps Bank Lending Rates, Sets Minimum Deposit Rates

The government of Kenya recently passed legislation to cap the interest rates on bank loans at 4 percent per year above an undisclosed benchmark reference rate and also set the minimum deposit interest rate at 70 percent of the reference rate. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Arman Financial Services Decreases Interest Rates on Two-wheel Vehicle, Microfinance Loans

Arman Financial Services Limited, a non-banking finance company based in the Indian state of Gujarat, recently announced it is reducing interest rates on its two-wheel vehicle and microfinance loans. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Intellegrow, Symbiotics Launch SME Debt Pool Program by Securitizing $5.3m Bond Issuance Benefiting Indian Entrepreneurs

Intellegrow, an India-based subsidiary of Intellecap Group specializing in venture debt, and Symbiotics, a Switzerland-based firm investing in smaller companies, recently launched a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) debt pool program, benefiting Indian entrepreneurs from “impact” sectors including, but not limited to, food and agriculture, healthcare, and waste management. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institution Equitas Begins Accepting Deposits in Chennai, India, With Interest Rates Starting at 6%

Equitas Small Finance Bank Limited, a subsidiary of India’s Equitas Holdings Limited, recently began operations with three branches in Chennai, offering deposit accounts with interest rates of six to 7.5 percent per year. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Interest Rate Cuts by Reserve Bank of India Trickle Down to Microfinance Loans

Successive interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) since 2015 have led to decreasing cost of funds for microfinance institutions (MFI) and a reduction in lending rates to end customers. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: MFI Client Satisfaction and Consumer Protection in Peru; Mobile Microfinance Users Predicted to Triple by 2020; Mobilizing Savings Through Agency Banking

“Voice of the Client: An analysis of client satisfaction and consumer protection across four microfinance institutions in Peru,” by J. Foelster, A. Pierantozzi, M. Pistelli; published by the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) in collaboration with Hivos People Unlimited; February 2016; 31 pages; available at: http://www.themix.org/sites/default/files/Voice%20of%20the%20Client%20Peru_0.pdf Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank India (RBI) Eases Microfinance Interest Rate Norm to Allow Cheaper Loans to Members of Scheduled Castes (SC) Earning Less than $2.50 Per Day

The Reserve Bank India (RBI), the nation’s central banking authority, has eased the maximum allowance of a variance of 4 percent between minimum and maximum interest rates on loans by microfinance institutions (MFIs) in order to encourage the provision of cheaper loans to those members of Scheduled Castes (SC), historically disadvantaged people in India, who earn less than double the international poverty line defined by the United Nations (UN) as USD 1.25 per day. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Bandhan Bank Sets Deposit Interest Rates, Will Open 3 Branches in South India

Bandhan Bank, an Indian commercial bank based in Kolkata, recently announced that it plans to open one branch each in the cities of Bengaluru, Koramangala and Bannerghatta, all of which are located in southern India. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) of India Advises Members to Reduce Interest Rates

The Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), a trade organization composed of 47 Indian microlenders, has advised its members to reduce their interest rates voluntarily by “at least 25 basis points” [1] by the end of September 2015. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Starbucks to Commit Additional $30m to Global Farmer Fund Program; Fairtrade Access Fund, Root Capital to Assist with Loans to Coffee Farmers

Starbucks Coffee Company, a US-based coffee retailer, recently announced that it would commit an additional USD 30 million to its Global Farmer Fund program, one of the organization’s “ethical sourcing initiatives”[1] that aims to ensure the sustainability of the organization’s production chain up to 2020. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indonesia to Disburse $2.2b under Microfinance Program Kredit Usaha Rakyat (KUR) to Encourage Growth of Micro-, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The Indonesian government intends to disburse IDR 30 trillion (USD 2.2 billion) in small business loans under its Kredit Usaha Rakyat (KUR) program, which is intended to provide credit to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and cooperatives. Continue reading

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