Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

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: Microfinance Supervisory Committee of Myanmar Caps Microloans at $509, Interest Rates at 2.5% per Month

The Microfinance Supervisory Committee (MSC), the microfinance regulatory body in Myanmar, reportedly set a limit of MMK 500,000 (USD 509) for loans issued by microfinance institutions (MFIs). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bandhan of India Borrows $26m From International Finance Corporation (IFC), Seeks $16m From Swiss Investor

Bandhan Financial Services, an India-based microfinance institution (MFI) that offers loans for health emergencies and microenterprise, reportedly has raised INR 1.6 billion (USD 26 million) in debt financing from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the US-based World Bank Group’s private investment arm, and is seeking to raise another INR 1 billion (USD 16 million) from an unnamed Swiss multinational investor. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Acleda Bank Plans to Open 12 New Branches in Myanmar, 4 in Laos

Alceda Bank, a microfinance bank based in Cambodia, reportedly plans to expand its operations in Myanmar and in Laos. By the end of 2014, it intends to increase its network of branches from six to 18 in Myanmar and from 41 to 45 branches in Laos. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Commercial Credit and Finance of Sri Lanka Raises $12m by Selling 25% Equity Stake to Creation Investments

Commercial Credit and Finance (CCF), a Sri Lanka-based financial company, recently reached an agreement with Creation Investments Social Ventures Fund II, a private equity fund managed by US-based Creation Investments Capital Management, to raise LKR 1.68 billion (USD 12.4 million) in equity funding through an issue of 80 million new shares. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Philippine Government Launches $20m Facility to Offer Microloans Up To $7k for Farmers, Fishermen

The government of the Philippines has instituted a credit facility of USD 20 million intended to provide microloans to “small-scale” farmers and fishermen [1]. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Inclusix Index of Financial Inclusion in India; Obstacles to Access in Microinsurance; Microfinance in Kenya

“CRISIL Inclusix: An index to measure India’s progress on Financial Inclusion;” published by Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL); June 2013; 101 pages; available at http://crisil.com/pdf/corporate/CRISIL-Inclusix.pdf

Based on data from 2009 through 2011, this report gives an overview of the findings of the CRISIL Inclusix index, an analytical tool designed by Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL) to measure progress in financial inclusion in India at the national, regional, state and district levels. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Provider Khushhali Bank, Smart and Renewable Energy Solutions Partner to Increase Solar Power in Rural Pakistan

Khushhali Bank, a microfinance institution (MFI) in Pakistan, has signed an agreement with Smart and Renewable Energy Solutions (SRE Solutions), a Pakistan-based firm that offers solar energy products, to provide financing for “Solar Magic Box,” a device manufactured and sold by SRE Solutions that generates electricity from the sun [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND) Partners with Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) to Bring Ibdaa Microfinance Bank to Eighth Country

The Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND), a Saudi Arabia-based development organization, and the Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), a policy- and advocacy-oriented group that represents approximately 35,000 businesses in the Philippines, have signed an agreement to create an iteration of the “Ibdaa Microfinance Bank” (IMB) that is intended to increase financial inclusion of poor people and micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines [1][2]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) to Add 571 Branches to Reach Rural Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), Expand Agricultural Lending

Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), a commercial bank owned by the government of Indonesia that offers traditional services as well as microlending, reportedly has announced its intention to add 571 branches to its existing network of 9,808 retail outlets in the country. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Myanmar Mobile Money, Mobilemate Telecommunications Launch Mobile Money Services in Myanmar

Myanmar Mobile Money, a Myanmar-based subsidiary of France-based Oberthur Technologies, recently partnered with Mobilemate Telecommunications, a Singapore-based company, to launch mobile money services in Myanmar. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Court Rules Against Co-Founder of SMILE Microfinance, Leaving Control to US-Based Developing World Markets

An Indian court has denied a petition from Dr N Sethuraman, the co-founder of Semam Microfinance Investment Literacy and Empowerment (SMILE Microfinance), leaving control of the Indian microfinance institution (MFI) unchanged in the hands of Developing World Markets (DWM), a US-based investment company that has owned a stake amounting to approximately two thirds of SMILE since 2010. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Triodos Revealed as Source of Shares of Cambodia’s Acleda Bank Purchased by Orix

Triodos Investment Management, a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Triodos Bank, has announced that it is the source of a six-percent equity stake in Cambodian commercial bank Acleda that was purchased by Orix Corporation, a Japan-based financial services group. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India Post, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Partner to Provide Mobile Money Services

The Indian postal department, India Post, reportedly is partnering with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), a telecommunications company owned by the Indian government, to provide instant money transfers through cellular phones. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Chinese Internet Companies Alibaba, Baidu Offer Financial Services Through Subsidiaries Yu’e Bao, Baifa

Internet companies in China reportedly are increasing financial inclusion through services such as Yu’e Bao, an online savings and investment product of e-commerce player Alibaba Group, and Baifa, an online “wealth management” product launched by search engine Baidu [1]. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Effectiveness of Microfinance in Cambodia; Scaling Up in Agriculture and Development; Mobile Savings in Ecuador

“AMK Cambodia – Have AMK loans helped its clients improve their overall wellbeing?”, published by Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea (AMK); January 2014; 12 pages; available at https://www.incofin.com/sites/default/files/attachments/newsitems/Change%20Study_AMK_2014.pdf

This report explores the results of a five-year study of the effectiveness of Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea (AMK), a Cambodian microfinance institution, in helping increase its clients’ livelihoods through microcredit services. Continue reading

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