Category: Regulation

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Myanmar Licences First Private Insurers

The Myanmar government reportedly has granted operating licenses to five insurance companies in line with its financial reform policy. International Kanbawza Insurance, a subsidiary of Kanbawza Bank (KBZ) is the first insurance company to have started operation in the city of Yangon, providing both standard insurance and microinsurance[1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Jamaica’s Ministry of Finance Delays Microfinance Institutions’ Exemptions from Money Lending Act, Blocking Wholesale Funding from Development Bank of Jamaica

Members of the Jamaica Micro Financing Association (JaMFA), a committee of eight microfinance institutions formed in 2008, reportedly have had their access to relatively cheap wholesale funds from the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), a state-owned bank, blocked due to delays in the Ministry of Finance in renewing their exemptions from the Money Lending Act, a law established in Jamaica in 1938 [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Philippines Allows Foreign Investors to Hold Stakes of up to 60% in Rural Banks

Philippine President Benigno Aquino reportedly has signed a law, entitled “An Act Allowing the Infusion of Foreign Equity in the Capital of Rural Banks,” that will allow foreign investors to own as much as 60 percent of the voting stock in Philippine “rural banks,” which are sponsored by the government of the Philippines for the purpose of promoting economic development in rural areas. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India Raises Interest Margin Cap to 12% for Larger Microfinance Institutions

For non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and microfinance institutions (MFIs) of all sizes, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking institution, recently set the margin cap, the difference between the amount charged to the borrower and the institution’s cost of funds at 12 percent at least until April 1, 2014 [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) of India Proposes Microinsurance Firms Provide Maturity Benefit Policies to Boost Sales

In an effort to boost sales of microinsurance in India, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), the country’s regulatory body for the insurance industry, reportedly has proposed that microinsurance firms offer policies with maturity benefits [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Azerbaijan Microfinance Association Considers Credit Bureau for Microlenders

Teymur Heybatov, a representative of the Azerbaijan-Central Asia Financial Markets Infrastructure (ACAFI) advisory services project of the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), reportedly has announced that a meeting will be held with the leadership of the Azerbaijan Microfinance Association (AMA) to discuss establishing a credit bureau for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Azerbaijan. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nine Indian Impact Investment Companies Forming “Indian Impact Investor Council”

Nine companies that specialize in impact investment reportedly will be establishing the “Indian Impact Investor Council” (IIIC) to establish guidelines helping investment companies in India regulate their efforts to meet social goals. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: State Bank of Pakistan’s Credit Guarantee Scheme for Small, Rural Businesses Extends Loan Repayment Term to 5 Years

The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP’s) Credit Guarantee Scheme for Small and Rural Businesses (CGS), which aims to increase financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in rural areas via retail banks, reportedly will extend client loan terms from three years to five years in an effort to increase economic opportunities by facilitating the purchase of tractors and other agricultural tools. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: PKF Chartered Accountants Advises Royal Bank Zimbabwe to Downscale to Microfinance Institution

PKF Chartered Accountants, the Zimbabwean member of UK-based businesses services firm PKF International, reportedly has advised Royal Bank Zimbabwe Limited, a defunct bank, to convert its commercial banking license to a microfinance institution (MFI) license, which carries lower capital requirements set by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the country’s central banking institution. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration, Venture Capital Trust Fund Establish Centre for Impact Investing

Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF), an initiative of the government of Ghana to provide low-cost capital to private businesses, reportedly has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government-run business school Institute for Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), establishing a Centre for Impact Investing. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean, Savings Groups Leading to Advocacy, Microinsurance in the Philippines

“Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean in 2012: Differing Behavior Across Subregions;” by Maria Luisa Hayem; published by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF); 2013; 27 pages; available at http://www5.iadb.org/mif/HOME/Knowledge/tabid/426/idPublication/78709/language/en-US/Default.aspx

This report from the US-based Multilateral Investment Fund provides an analysis of remittances received across national borders by people in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Online Fundraiser Kiva Discloses Delinquencies of Microfinance Institutions Alidé of Benin, FECECAV of Togo

Kiva, a US-based online microlending fundraiser, recently reported on delinquent payments due to Kiva by non-profit institutions L’Association de Lutte pour la promotion des Initiatives de Développement (Alidé) of Benin and Faîtière des Caisses d’Epargne et de Crédit des Associations Villageoises (FECECAV) of Togo. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion Publishes Data on 192 Countries

The Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), which is mandated to carry out the financial inclusion action plan endorsed at the 2010 summit of the Group of 20 (G20) large economies, has released a set of “basic” financial inclusion indicators populated with data from 192 countries. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Cuba Leases 2,000 State Firms to Private Sector

According to Cuba’s Domestic Trade Ministry, a government body charged with implementing and monitoring domestic wholesale and retail commerce, 2,041 businesses have been leased to 5,479 former employees as part of Cuba’s economic reform plan to introduce non-state management in 47 economic activities. Continue reading

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