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

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institutions in Pakistan to be Registered as Non-Banking Financial Companies, Regulated by Securities and Exchange Commission

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) recently announced plans to bring all non-deposit taking microfinance institutions (MFIs) and related nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) under the non-banking finance company (NBFC) framework in an effort to improve the regulation and monitoring of their activities.

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: 2016 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project Report; by John Villasenor, Darrell West, Robin Lewis

“The 2016 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project Report Advancing Equitable Financial Ecosystems;” by John D. Villasenor, Darrell M. West and Robin J. Lewis; published by the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution; August 2016; 146 pages;

MICROFINANCE EVENT: European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) to Host European Microfinance Week, November 16-18, 2016, Luxembourg

Event Name: European Microfinance Week 2016

Event Date: November 16 – November 18, 2016

Event Location: Neimënster, 28 Rue Münster, L-2160 Luxembourg

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Global Symposium on Innovative Financial Inclusion, September 21-22, 2016, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Event Name: Global Symposium on Innovative Financial Inclusion: “Harnessing Innovation for Inclusive Finance”

Event Date: September 21 – September 22, 2016

Event Location: Sasana Kijang, Number 2, Jalan Dato’ Onn, 50480, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Uganda Development Bank to Issue “Small” Loans to Agricultural Businesses, Ugandan Regulators to Boost Enforcement of SACCO Regulations

The Finance Minister of Uganda, Matia Kasaija, recently announced plans to recapitalize the Uganda Development Bank (UDB), a public enterprise owned by the government of Uganda, with UGX 500 billion (USD 148 million).

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Philippine Government Institutionalizes Steering Committee to Oversee National Strategy for Financial Inclusion

The Philippine government recently issued an executive order institutionalizing a Financial Inclusion Steering Committee (FISC) to oversee implementation of the country’s National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI), which was launched in July 2015 to “raise awareness, appreciation and understanding of financial inclusion and enable coordination among various stakeholders.”

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Sa-Dhan Association to Host National Conference, September 14-15, 2016, New Delhi, India

Event Name: Sa-Dhan National Conference 2016: “Financial Inclusion on Path to Sustainable Development Goals”

Event Date: September 14-15, 2016

Event Location: India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi, India 110003

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Releases Categorization System for “Non-interest Islamic Microfinance Banks”

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s central banking authority, recently released a new categorization system for “Non-Interest Islamic Microfinance Banks” (NIMFBs). Such institutions operate under Islamic principles that prohibit charging interest, instead using arrangements such as the sharing of profit and loss.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tanzania Launches Mobile Money Monitoring (M3) Platform, Regulates Mobile Money Transactions

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) recently launched a Mobile Money Monitoring (M3) platform, a technology-enabled tool that monitors mobile money services in Tanzania.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bâtisseur de Richesse (BR SARL) Among 50 Microfinance Institutions Closed in Gabon, David Mapakou Arrested For Alleged Savings Fraud

The Ministry of Economy of Gabon recently froze the activities of 50 microfinance institutions that lacked  approval to offer microfinance services.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Flexible Microloan Repayment Schedules in Bangladesh; Merchant Acceptance of Digital Payments in Developing Countries; Global Standard-setting Bodies and Financial Inclusion

“Cost-Benefit Analysis of Traditional Versus Flexible Microfinance in Bangladesh;” by S. Bairagi, W. Bin Shadat; published by the Copenhagen Consensus Center; May 2016;  32 pages; available at: http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/bin_shadat_microfinance.pdf

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: Guidance on the Application of the Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision to Institutions Relevant to Financial Inclusion, published by the Basel Committee

“Guidance on the Application of the Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision to the Regulation and Supervision of Institutions Relevant to Financial Inclusion”, published by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, December 2015, 55 pages, available at http://www.bis.org/bcbs/publ/d351.pdf

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Luxembourg Fund Labeling Agency (LuxFLAG) Provides Microfinance Label to GLS Alternative Investments-Mikrofinanzfonds (GLSMIKA), Renews Labels for 14 Investment Funds

The Luxembourg Fund Labeling Agency (LuxFLAG), a Luxembourg-based nonprofit organization that certifies the operations of investment vehicles that support microfinance and environmental initiatives, recently announced it granted its Microfinance Label for the first time. The fund is promoted by German bank Gemeinschaftsbank für Leihen und Schenken (GLS). 

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Trends in International Funding for Financial Inclusion; Inclusive Finance in India; Financial Regulation for Inclusion and Development in Latin America

“Current Trends in International Funding for Financial Inclusion;” by M. Soursourian, E. Dashi and E. Dokle; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); December 2015; 4 pages; available at: http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/Brief-Current-Trends-in-International-Funding-Dec-2015.pdf

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Sa-Dhan, Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) Revise Code of Conduct

Sa-Dhan, an India-based association of 214 microlenders and other financial institutions, and the Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), a trade association of 48 Indian microfinance lenders, recently launched a revised code of conduct.