Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s New Financial Inclusion Plan Seeks to Bring Every Household Bank Account, Pension, Insurance

Mr Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, reportedly announced the launch of a new financial inclusion program, entitled “Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana,” which means “Prime Minister’s People’s Wealth Mission”[1] and is intended to extend “banking, credit, insurance and pension services”[1] to every household in the country. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Franklin Templeton Investments Launches Financial Inclusion Drive in India

Franklin Templeton Investments India, the Indian division of a Us-based mutual fund company Franklin Templeton Investments, in partnership with the Security Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the regulator for the securities market in India, reportedly has launched a financial inclusion campaign aimed at enlightening people on the mutual funds industry in India’s Rangareddy district. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Japanese Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) Announces Purchase of $110m Equity Stake in Cambodian Acleda Bank from International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), a Japanese financial services company, reportedly announced plans to purchase a 12.25-percent equity stake consisting of approximately 27.6 million shares in Acleda Bank (Acleda), a Cambodian commercial bank, for a total cost of USD 110 million. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank Group to Provide Funding of $42m to Lao People’s Democratic Republic to Support Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), Hydropower and Mining Sectors

The World Bank Group (WBG), a group of five multilateral organizations that invest in developing countries, recently approved plans to disburse a total of USD 42 million to support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the hydropower and mining sectors of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Lok Capital, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Bellwether Microfinance Fund Exit Janalakshmi Financial Services of India

Lok Capital, a Mauritius-based venture capital fund; the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, a US-based philanthropic organization that seeks to improve the lives of poor urban residents in India, South Africa and the US; and the Bellwether Microfinance Fund, an Indian investor of equity and in start-up and medium-sized businesses, reportedly have exited their private equity investments in Janalakshmi Financial Services (JFS), a Bangalore-based microfinance institution (MFI). Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Myanmar: Demand, Supply, Policy and Regulation;” by Doubell Chamberlain et al; published by the Centre for Financial Regulation & Inclusion (CENFRI)

“Myanmar: Demand, Supply, Policy and Regulation;” by Doubell Chamberlain, Hennie Bester, Herman Smit, Christiaan Loots, Shirley Mburu, Ahmed Dermish, Lara Gidvani and David Saunders; published as a Making Access Possible (MAP) Study Synthesis Note by the Centre for Financial Regulation & Inclusion (CENFRI); 2014; 41 pages; available at     http://cenfri.org/documents/MAP/2014/MAP%20Myanmar%20Synthesis%20Note.pdf

This document covers an assessment of the retail financial services market in Myanmar as performed by the Making Access Possible (MAP) program, which was developed by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) to support global financial inclusion. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to Encourage Banks to Deploy Rural Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), Use Unclaimed Funds for Financial Education

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, reportedly has initiated a program under which banks are requested to install an unspecified number of automatic teller machines (ATMs) in rural areas that will dispense bank notes in relatively small denominations. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) to Revise Microinsurance Product Structure in Effort to Encourage Growth of Industry

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), the government agency charged with overseeing India’s insurance market, reportedly is set to release revised guidelines on the structure and features of microinsurance products in order to allow insurance companies to incentivize third-party institutions to sell the products. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) of Taiwan Encourages Banks to Reduce Microcredit Transaction Fees

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) of Taiwan, the government agency charged with regulating the island’s insurance and banking sectors, reportedly has encouraged banks to reduce the fees they charge on microcredit loans in Taiwan. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company Purchases 10% Equity Stake in Rocket Internet for $445m with Eye on Mobile Payments

The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), a Philippines-based telecommunications company, reportedly has purchased a 10-percent stake in Rocket Internet, a Germany-based web service provider and e-commerce investment firm, for EUR 333 million (USD 445 million). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Government Launches 15 “Technology Centres” to Support Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The Ministry of Micro-, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), the Indian government agency in charge of regulating and supporting MSMEs, reportedly has launched its “Technology Centre Systems Programme,” which involves establishing 15 technology centers and improving the three existing such centers across the country. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Janalakshmi Financial Services to Buy $90m in Products, Services From International Business Machines (IBM)

Janalakshmi Financial Services (JFS), a Bangalore-based microfinance institution (MFI) that offers lending and insurance services, and International Business Machines (IBM), a US-based information technology consulting company, have signed a six-year agreement worth INR 5.5 billion (USD 90 million) to provide JFS with IBM products and services in support of the MFI’s proposed growth in India. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s ESAF Microfinance and Investment Issues $7.8m In Non-Convertible Debentures (NCDs) to Triodos

Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF) Microfinance and Investment Private Limited (EMFIL), a non-banking financial institution (NBFC) based in the Indian state of Kerala, reportedly has raised INR 475 million (USD 7.8 million) by issuing non-convertible debentures (NCDs) to Triodos Investment Management, a subsidiary of Netherlands-based for-profit Triodos Bank [1]. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics to Host 4th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum, November 1-4, 2014, Dubai, UAE

Event Name: 4th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum

Event Date: Conference: November 1-2, 2014; Post-conference workshop: November 3-4, 2014

Event Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates  Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Symbiotics Issues $30m in Bonds to MicroCred China; India’s Arohan, Grameen Koota, Annapura Microfinance

Symbiotics, a Switzerland-based investment company that focuses on emerging markets, has completed bond transactions worth a total of USD 30 million with MicroCred China, an affiliate of the France-based MicroCred and PlaNet Finance groups; Arohan Financial Services Private Ltd., an Indian financial services company; Grameen Financial Services Private Ltd., a Bangalore-based microfinance institution (MFI) also known as Grameen Koota; and Annapurna Microfinance Private Ltd., an MFI based in the Indian state of Odisha. Continue reading

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