The Pacific Financial Inclusion Program, a Fiji-based initiative of the UN that works to extend financial services to unbanked Pacific Islanders, recently granted USD 450,000 to the Solomon Islands’ Inland Revenue Division (IRD) with the goal of increasing the availability of electronic payment channels for taxes paid by “123,800 wage and salary employees, 200 corporate taxpayers and 3,684 small businesses.”
During July and August, Italy’s MicroFinanza Rating (MFR) issued five microfinance institutional ratings. Morocco’s Attadamoune Micro-Finance was assigned the grade B+ with a stable outlook. Ecuador’s Fundación Espoir and Albania’s FED Invest both earned grades of BB with stable outlooks. Two institutions earned grades of
“Offshore Financial Centers for Financial Inclusion: A Marriage of Convenience;” by Sam Mendelson and Daniel Rozas; published by the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) at Accion; June 2017; 14 pages; available at:
This paper explores the use of offshore financial centers (OFCs) based on interviews with 13 equity impact investors.
The Reserve Bank of India, India’s central banking authority, recently released its “Compendium of Guidelines on Financial Inclusion and Development” for small finance banks, a new classification of institutions intended to increase the “supply of credit to micro- and small enterprises (MSEs), [as well as] agriculture and banking services in unbanked and under-banked regions in the country.”
The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services primarily to microfinance institutions, recently informed MicroCapital that it has committed to extending the following local-currency loans in phases over three years: the equivalent of USD 3.9 million to KazMicroFinance LLC (KMF) of Kazakhstan, the equivalent of USD 550,000 to Bereke of Kazakhstan, and the equivalent of USD 660,000 to Vasham of Indonesia.
Arohan Financial Services, an Indian non-banking finance company that offers microloans to women, recently raised INR 155 crore (USD 24.1 million) from Maj Invest, a Danish asset management firm; Tano Capital, a US-based asset management firm focusing on emerging markets; Aavishkaar Venture Management Services, a venture capital firm targeting underserved regions of India; and multiple individuals.
The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), which is owned by the Philippines’ Ayala Corporation, recently created BPI Direct BanKo, a microfinance bank intended to cater to “self-employed micro-entrepreneurs.”
Paytm, an Indian electronic payment and e-commerce company with 220 million users, recently raised INR 90 billion (USD 1.4 billion) in equity by selling nearly 20 percent of its shares to SoftBank Group, a Japanese conglomerate operating in the technology and energy sectors.
Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX), a Singapore-based facilitator of investment in social enterprises, recently announced that it has raised USD 8 million via a “Women’s Livelihood Bond” issue to support women-owned businesses in Southeast Asia.
Event Name: Mondato Summit Asia 2017 – Of Titans & Trailblazers: Emerging Asia’s Digital Finance & Commerce Moment
Event Date: November 28 – November 29, 2017
Event Location: Yangon, Myanmar
Cost: Entry passes cost USD 1,500 until August 31 and USD 1,750 thereafter.
Summary of Event: Attendees will consider ways “incumbents and innovators alike can navigate the highly complex digital finance and commerce (DFC) ecosystem” in South and Southeast Asia. The proceedings will include case studies, debates, demonstrations and roundtable discussions.
Disha Microfin, an Indian microfinance institution (MFI), recently received a license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to open a “small finance bank” that it is launching under the name Fincare.
The Netherlands Development Finance Company, a government-backed institution also known by its Dutch acronym FMO, recently announced it will loan the local-currency equivalent of USD 5 million to The First MicroFinance Bank-Afghanistan (FMFB-A), which is owned by the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM), a unit of Switzerland-based Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) that provides microfinance services across ten different countries [1, 6].
The 82-member Cambodian Microfinance Association (CMA) recently announced that its affiliated microfinance institutions (MFIs) are declining to enforce the 10-percent value-added tax (VAT) that the country’s Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) has levied on financial services.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently announced it will loan a total of USD 13.5 million and provide related advisory services to three microfinance institutions in Myanmar.
Myanmar Finance International Limited (MFIL), a microfinance institution owned by Myanmar Investments International Limited (MIIL), Myanmar Finance Company Limited (MFCL) and the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund), recently announced that it has secured a local-currency loan facility worth USD 1 million from Switzerland-based Symbiotics.
The Netherlands Development Finance Company, a government-backed institution also known by its Dutch acronym FMO, recently announced it will loan USD 7.5 million to the Association for Social Advancement (ASA) Pakistan, a microlending unit of Mauritius-based ASA International Holding, “to provide funding and financial education to about 50,000 women and their families.”
India Ratings, a subsidiary of US-based Fitch Group, recently announced that its “0+ days delinquency index” increased from 0.45 percent to 10.82 percent in the four months following November 2016 and thus concluded that the Indian government’s demonetization had a significant negative effect on microlenders .
The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has committed to extending loans totaling the following amounts in phases over three years: the euro equivalent of USD 2.96 million to Myanmar’s Proximity Finance; the euro equivalent of USD 1.60 million to BRAC Myanmar; and the euro equivalent to USD 1.37 million to VisionFund Myanmar.