Category: Regulation

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Equifax India to Launch Microfinance Credit Bureau In Partnership with Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Kotak Mahindra Prime, ReligareFinvest, Sundaram Finance, Union Bank of India

The Indian unit of Equifax Credit Information Services, a US-based consumer credit reporting agency, has partnered with the following six Indian banks to launch a credit bureau devoted to transactions in the microfinance sector: Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Kotak Mahindra Prime, ReligareFinvest, Sundaram Finance and Union Bank of India. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Thailand Introduces Guidelines to Promote Microfinance, But Interest Rate Ceiling Reportedly Discourages Commercial Banks

The Bank of Thailand (BOT), the country’s central bank, has recently allowed commercial banks to engage in microfinance, whereby there is no collateral requirement, a credit limit of THB 200,000 (USD 6,000) and an annual interest rate cap of 28 percent [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Myanmar’s (Burma’s) Banned Opposition Party, National League for Democracy (NLD) to Launch Microfinance Program

The National League for Democracy (NLD), a banned political opposition party in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), is reported to be planning the launch of a microcredit program to provide small, interest-free-loans in South Okkalapa Township of Burma’s capital city, Rangoon. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: African Microfinance Transparency Forum (AMT) Calls for Applications to Host Organization as it Relocates from Luxembourg

African Microfinance Transparency Forum (AMT), a Luxembourg-based nonprofit that seeks to promote transparency and efficiency among African microfinance institutions (MFIs), is set to relocate its operations to the African continent in 2011. AMT is inviting organizations based in Africa to apply to host and manage the AMT Secretariat. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Journalist Lewis Mwanangombe Argues Microfinance Institutions, Banks Fail to Provide Adequate Financial Services in Zambia

A recent article published by Inter Press Service (IPS), an Italy-based global news agency, written by Lewis Mwanangombe, a Zambian journalist who writes for the Associated Press and the Pan-African News Agency, highlights the limited availability of financial services in Zambia. Referencing a World Bank report, Mr Mwanangombe points out, “less than eight percent of Zambian adults have bank accounts. For the millions who make their living in the informal economy, this prevents them from earning interest on any savings they have or securing credit needed to expand small businesses beyond mere survival” [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Turkmenistan Adopts Microfinance Law

Mejlis, the Legislature of Turkmenistan, has passed a law on “microfinance institutions and microfinance” [1]. According to the official report released by the Mejlis, the law is intended to attract financial resources to the country, facilitate the creation of industrial and business infrastructure and enhance the competitiveness of Turkmenistan’s private sector. Further details on the law are unavailable. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: US Under Secretary of State Maria Otero: Mobile Money, Policy Reform are Keys to Financial Success

Speaking at a recent panel held by the Brookings Institution, a US-based nonprofit public policy organization, on “Growth Through Innovation in Africa: Mobile Financial Services and Financial Inclusion,” Maria Otero, US Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, argued that mobile money could substantially support financial inclusion efforts. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Supreme Court Schedules Hearing on Petition Filed by SKS Microfinance Against Over Regulation of Moneylending Act of India’s State of Andhra Pradesh

SKS Microfinance, an Indian microfinance institution (MFI), has filed a petition with the Supreme Court of India seeking a stay to prevent the enforcement of the Regulation of Microlending Act issued by the government of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Convenes Discussion On Amending Microfinance Regulations in Uzbekistan

United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations’ global development network that seeks to connect countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life, organized a session recently to discuss amendments to microfinance regulations in Uzbekistan. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX): Microfinance Institutions Will Face Difficulties Meeting New Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Regulations

Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), the US-based, nonprofit data provider, foresees a significant impact on microfinance institutions (MFIs) in India as a result of the regulations that were recently issued by the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central banking authority, in response to the turmoil that has disrupted the microfinance sector since late 2010, particularly in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Confusion Continues Over Regulation of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in India, State of Andhra Pradesh May Adjust Law to Reconcile With Federal Rules

The Business Standard, an Indian financial newspaper, recently reported that the regulations recently issued for the microfinance sector by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central banking authority, and the Regulation of Microlending act issued by the government of the state of Andhra Pradesh in 2010 are creating confusion over the regulatory jurisdiction of each entity. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Credit Rating and Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL) Predicts Reserve Bank of India Guidelines Will Spur Bank Lending to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), Trigger Consolidation

The Indian rating agency Credit Rating and Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL) has announced that it expects, “Growth prospects for microfinance institutions (MFIs) will remain subdued over the medium term,” due to microfinance guidelines issued earlier this month by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the nation’s central banking authority. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) Microfinance Blog Argues Importance of “Matching Types of Accounts to Types of Needs”

The CGAP Microfinance Blog, which is operated by US-based think tank CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), recently posted an article by President Bindu Ananth of IFMR Trust, an affiliate of India’s nonprofit Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR), that argues the importance of “matching types of accounts to types of needs” based on several examples from India[1].

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Observers: Chinese Government Should Help Foreign Investors Navigate Microfinance Sector

Vidhi Tambiah, CEO of Swiss nonprofit World Microfinance Forum Geneva, has been cited as saying that if Chinese finance officials were to improve the supply of information available to foreign investors, Chinese microfinance institutions (MFIs) could benefit from international funding [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Women’s World Banking (WWB) CEO Mary Ellen Iskenderian Anticipates Risks from “Over-Regulation” of Indian Microfinance Sector

In an email interview published on the website of Indian newspaper Mint, Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking (WWB), a US-based advisor to and network of microfinance institutions (MFIs), offered an assessment of the Indian microfinance sector and the potential results of new and proposed regulation. Continue reading

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