Category: Regulation

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangladesh Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) to Restrict Fees, Cap Microloan Interest Rates at 27%, Discourage Flat Interest Rates

Bangladesh’s Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) has enacted a new regulation capping microfinance institution (MFI) loan rates at 27 percent per year as of July 2011. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: African Financial Systems: A Review by Franklin Allen, Isaac Otchere and Lemma Senbet, Published by The Wharton Financial Institutions Center

by Franklin Allen, Isaac Otchere and Lemma Senbet, published by The Wharton Financial Institutions Center, March 2010, 69 pages, available at: http://www.microfinancegateway.org/gm/document-1.1.8282/African%20financial%20systems.pdf Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Venezuela to Implement Universal and Microfinance Banking and De-Commercialize Current Financial System

Venezuela’s new financial infrastructure, recently approved by the National Assembly, will replace the General Law on Banks and establish universal banking, microfinance banking and money exchange offices that will launch at an unspecified date. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Microfinance Industry on Brink of “Collapse” Due to Credit Freeze in State of Andhra Pradesh

India’s microfinance industry is reportedly on the verge of “collapsing,” according to the UK’s Financial Times newspaper, due to politically-triggered bank freezes on credit in the state of Andhra Pradesh, where outstanding loans reportedly measure USD 2.7 billion distributed to 6.7 million borrowers. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: USAID-Tijara to Hold Inclusive Financial Services Stakeholders’ Conference 2010 in Erbil, Iraq, November 28-30, 2010

Event Name: Inclusive Financial Services Stakeholders’ Conference 2010. “Putting the Poor First: Improving the Regulatory Environment, Industry Infrastructure, and Institutional Performance for Greater Impact”

Event Date: November 28-30, 2010

Event Location: Erbil, Iraq Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vice President of the Economic Commission of Nicaragua Urges the Passing of a Microfinance Law in Wake of “No Pago” Movement, Liquidation of Microfinance Institution Banco del Exito’s (Banex)

The Vice President of the Economic Commission of the National Assembly of Nicaragua, Freddy Torres, reportedly warned Nicaragua’s citizens in November 2010 that the country may lose up to USD 400 million if a microfinance law promoting regulation is not approved before year’s end. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Payment Strike Hits India’s Andhra Pradesh State As Local Governments Urge Microfinance Borrowers Not to Repay

In India’s Andhra Pradesh state, local government officials are reportedly telling microfinance borrowers to stop repaying lenders even if they have the money to do so. The state government there has begun to increase restrictions on interest rates and arrest thuggish lending agents for fear that high rates and harassment from lenders has contributed to an overwhelming debt burden on microborrowers and suicides in the region. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Serbian Government Reviews Microfinance Law Aimed to Improve Lending to Low-Income Citizens

Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Delic of Serbia recently announced that the Serbian government is reviewing a law that will allow for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country to lend directly to their clients instead of lending through the current framework, which only allows lending through local banks. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Backed by G20, Ashoka Changemakers Announces 14 Winners of Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Finance Challenge

Ashoka Changemakers announced this month that it has selected 14 proposals as the winners of the SME Finance Challenge, which is hosted by Ashoka, a US-based nonprofit organization that invests in social entrepreneurship, and backed by the G-20, a group of financial ministers and central bank authorities representing 20 major economies. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India to Publish Report on Regulating the Indian Microfinance Industry by End of January 2011

According to the website of the Hindustantimes Newspaper, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the central bank of India, is preparing a report making recommendations on regulating the Indian microfinance industry, which has recently come under intense scrutiny. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Former CEO of Jammu and Kashmir Bank Calls Efforts to Regulate Indian Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) “Flawed”, Argues NABARD Has Conflicts of Interest

Haseeb Drabu, former CEO of Jammu and Kashmir Bank, a bank owned by the Indian state governments of Jammu and Kashmir, recently wrote an article published on the LiveMint website calling recent efforts by authorities to rein in the Indian microfinance industry “flawed”. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative Set Standards for Microfinance Investment Vehicle Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Performance

CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a policy and research center dedicated to providing financial access for the world’s poor, and the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), a network of international investors created to promote the practice of responsible investing, have partnered to create the following criteria for measuring the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs) Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Experts Warn that New Legislation in Andhra Pradesh Might Reduce Profitability of Indian Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

On the website of the LiveMint newspaper, a number of experts in India recently cautioned that legislations currently proposed in Andhra Pradesh, India, might cause a sharp drop in profitability of microfinance institutions (MFIs). Continue reading

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