Category: Regulation

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Council of Credit Unions Publishes Islamic Operations Manual for Shariah-compliant Credit Unions

The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), a US-based association of credit union trade groups in 54 countries, recently published the “Islamic Finance Manual: Operating Policies and Procedures,” a guide that is intended to assist bankers with establishing Shariah-compliant credit unions in developing countries. The Shariah, which is alternatively referred to as “Islamic law,” prohibits interest payments and fees, so Islamic banking is centered instead on the concept of joint venture and profit sharing. The manual was developed by the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA), an Australia-based member organization of WOCCU, based on COBA’s experience establishing Islamic investment and finance cooperatives in Afghanistan since 2004. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Announces Regulations on Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Nepal to Increase Financial Inclusion of the Unbanked

The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), Nepal’s central banking authority, recently announced new regulations for microfinance institutions (MFIs) that aim to increase the financial inclusion of unbanked districts in the country. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Propose Unified Software System for Microfinance Banks (MFB) in Nigeria

The National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), a trade group of 820 microfinance banks (MFBs) in Nigeria, recently partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s main financial regulator, to propose a unified software system for all of NAMB’s member institutions. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank Group (WBG) Announces “Financial Infrastructure Development Project” in Yemen; International Development Association (IDA) Provides Grant of $20m

The World Bank Group (WBG), a US-based development bank, recently announced a new initiative called the “Financial Infrastructure Development Project” that aims to improve the transparency and efficiency of Yemen’s financial system as well as increase the financial inclusion of low-income people in the country. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: African Insurance Organization (AIO) Inaugurates Microinsurance Committee

The African Insurance Organization (AIO), a Cameroon-based nonprofit that seeks to promote intra-African cooperation in developing Africa’s insurance and reinsurance industry, recently inaugurated a Microinsurance Committee to oversee the growth of microinsurance on the continent. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Government of Sri Lanka Proposes Long-Delayed Regulations for Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

The government of Sri Lanka recently proposed a three-tier regulatory and supervisory framework updating a previously proposed law that, if passed, would be applicable to Sri Lankan microfinance institutions (MFIs) that accept deposits from the public. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Government of Cameroon Partners with United Nations Development Program (UNDP), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) To Consolidate Microfinance Sector

The government of Cameroon recently partnered with three agencies of the United Nations to consolidate the country’s microfinance sector by increasing governmental regulations and mergers of microfinance institutions (MFIs). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Depositors Withdraw Savings from Microfinance Firms in Kumasi, Ghana amid Lack of Safety Nets for Clients

High rates of deposit withdrawals reportedly are occurring in Ghanaian city of Kumasi, which allegedly is attributed to the lack of safety nets protecting depositors in case firms are shut down by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the country’s main financial regulator. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Risk Management Initiative in Microfinance (RIM) Launched

MFX Solutions, a US-based company that provides currency hedging solutions for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs), recently announced that it is one of eight partners launching the Risk Management Initiative in Microfinance (RIM), which will aim to mitigate challenges MFIs face in risk management; promote best practices; institute global MFI risk management standards; and protect MFIs and their clients from internal and external risks. Continue reading

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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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