Paul Luchtenburg, 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
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.
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.
“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;
Event Name: European Microfinance Week 2016
Event Date: November 16 – November 18, 2016
Event Location: Neimënster, 28 Rue Münster, L-2160 Luxembourg
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
Event Name: Global SME Finance Forum 2016
Event Date: September 19-21, 2016
Event Location: Shangri La – China World Hotel, 1 Jianguomenwai Avenue, Beijing, 100004, China
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).
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.”
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
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.
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.
The Ministry of Economy of Gabon recently froze the activities of 50 microfinance institutions that lacked approval to offer microfinance services.
“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
“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
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).
“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
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.