Category: Regulation

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: By December, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) May Issue First New Banking Licenses Since 2004

The Indian Express, a provider of business news in India, recently speculated that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, will issue at least three new banking licenses either in the second quarter of 2014 or near the end of the year. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Allocates 60% of $1.3b Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises Development Fund to Promote Women’s Empowerment, Gender Equality

In a publication outlining guidelines for the operation of its Micro-, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s central banking authority, included a mandate to allocate 60 percent of the fund, or NGN 132 billion (USD 802 million), for on-lending to women-owned enterprises in an effort to promote the empowerment of women and to reduce gender inequality. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Government of Jamaica Introduces SIPP Registry of Collateral, “Super Form” for Business Registration to Support Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The government of Jamaica has initiated the implementation of the Security Interests in Personal Property (SIPP) Registry to facilitate financial access for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) by supporting the use of non-real estate assets, including movable items, as collateral [1][2]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Considers Relaxing Capital Requirements for New Bank Licenses

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, recently commissioned an investigative panel, the Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low Income Households (the Committee), to create a policy framework for achieving financial inclusion in India and to make formal recommendations on how to implement the framework. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Unfixes Microloan Interest Rate Cap to Vary Based on Cost of Funding

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, has announced that as of April 1, 2014, it will remove the 26-percent interest rate cap established in 2011 on all microloans extended by microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Zimbabwe Imposes 5% Tax on Mobile Money Services

The Central Bank of Zimbabwe reportedly has imposed a five-percent tax on the fees charged to effect mobile money transactions such as cash transfers, cellular phone payments and utility bill payments following lobbying effort by the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, a nonprofit organization of member banks. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Jamaican Ministry of Finance May Regulate Microfinance Institutions, Cap Interest Rate at 40%

The Jamaican Ministry of Finance reportedly has announced plans to regulate microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country. This is made possible by the proposed Microcredit Act of 2013 that would replace the Moneylending Act of 1999. Under the new law, the maximum annual interest rate would be set at 40 percent. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Thailand’s Ministry of Finance Caps Microfinance Interest Rate at 3% Monthly, Sets Capital Requirement at $311k

Thailand’s Ministry of Finance has announced that beginning early in 2014, microfinance institutions (MFIs) will be able to apply for microfinance operating licenses from the Bank of Thailand, the country’s central bank [1] [2]. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Partnerships in Mobile Financial Services; Africa Microfinance Pricing Reports; Impact Assessment of EFC Zambia

Partnerships in Mobile Financial Services: Factors for Success;” by Mark Flaming, Aiaze Mitha, Michel Hanouch, Peter Zetterli and Greta Bull; published by the MasterCard Foundation and the International Finance Corporation (IFC); October 2013; 18 pages; available at http://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/88486280414940acb54ab79e78015671/Partnerships+in+Mobile+Financial+Services.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

This report presents findings from a study exploring the factors that determine the success of business partnerships among telecommunication firms, financial institutions and other organizations in providing mobile financial services. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UN’s Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative Launches New Reporting Framework Seeking to Increase Transparency

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative, the United Nations-backed network of international investors seeking to integrate environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues into their investment strategies, has announced the launch of a new reporting framework for its signatories that is aimed to increase the transparency of their investment activities [1]. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Lessons Learned from Morocco’s Microcredit Crisis; Using Microinsurance to Promote Universal Coverage; Remittances and Post-Conflict Economic Growth

“Lessons Learned from the Moroccan Crisis;” by Nadine Chehade and Alice Negre; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); 2013; 4 pages; available at http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/Brief-Lessons-Learned-from-the-Moroccan-Crisis-July-2013_0.pdf

This report presents the results of a study conducted by US-based NGO CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) that explored the Moroccan microcredit downturn, focusing on outlining “lessons learned from the rise, fall, and ongoing recovery of the Moroccan microcredit sector that may be useful when adapted in other countries in similar situations.” Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Majority of Ghanaian Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Allegedly Lack Operating Licenses, Bank of Ghana to Increase Surveillance

Ghanaian Radio XYZ Online, an online news publication, reportedly has discovered from an undisclosed source that of approximately 550 operating microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Ghana, only an estimated 200 are licensed. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Financial Inclusion 2020 Announces Roadmap to Financial Inclusion, Highlights Importance of Technology

Financial Inclusion 2020 (FI2020), a campaign to extend financial inclusion to 2 billion people in developing countries by the year 2020, recently announced the findings of a survey of 300 financial sector practitioners on their perspectives about opportunities and challenges to FI2020’s goals. Continue reading

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