Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroCredit Enterprises Partners with Freedom from Hunger to offer Health-related Services to Clients of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

MicroCredit Enterprises (MCE), a US-based NGO microfinance fund manager, and Freedom from Hunger, a US-based NGO that aims to alleviate hunger and poverty, are collaborating on a project that will offer “health-related education, loans, savings, insurance and linkages to local healthcare providers” in hopes that it will alleviate loan defaults caused by poor health and strengthen clients’ abilities to endure income-producing activities [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC), Siddhartha Bank Limited (SBL) Purchase 440k Shares of Rural Microfinance Development Center (RMDC) of Nepal Via Initial Public Offering (IPO)

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently purchased 300,000 shares at NPR 180 (USD 1.87) per unit from an initial public offering (IPO) by the Rural Microfinance Development Center (RMDC), a Nepal-based wholesale microcredit lender. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) Launches India Microfinance Platform

The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), a state-owned bank, with the help of the World Bank, a US-based international development institution, and implemented by the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), has launched the India Microfinance Platform, a web-based portal that will provide information on all the microfinance organizations in India. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nepal’s Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) See 21% Growth in Profit During 2013-2014 Amidst Concerns over High Interest Rates Charged to Borrowers

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Nepal reportedly are experiencing a period of growth that some say can be attributed to high interest rates charged to borrowers. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Gray Matters Capital Invests Equity in Unitus Capital

Unitus Capital (UC), a Bangalore-based financial services firm that specializes in capital market services for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social enterprises in Asia, recently announced that Gray Matters Capital (GMC), a US-based private foundation, invested an undisclosed amount in UC to fund social businesses that both assist poor clients and generate financial returns. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangladeshi Government Criticized for Proposal to Takeover or Split Grameen Bank

A working paper commissioned by the Bangladeshi government regarding Grameen Bank, a Bangladeshi microfinance institution founded by Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus, proposes a government takeover of Grameen Bank or a split of the institution into 19 entities. The paper recommends that the Bangladeshi government own 51 percent of the shares of Grameen Bank, an increase from the current 25 percent. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Alleviating Poverty via Mobile Communications; Integrating Microfinance, Health Services in the Andes; Mobile Phone Technology for Women in Afghanistan

Alleviating Poverty: Mobile Communications, Microfinance and Small Business Development Around the World;” by Darrell M. West; published by The Brookings Institution; May 2013; 12 pages; available at: http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2013/05/16%20poverty%20mobile%20microfinance%20business%20west/westalleviating%20povertymobile%20comms%20microfinance%20small%20business51613v12.pdf Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: BRAC, LOLC Micro Investments Buy 90% of Shares of Sri Lanka’s Nanda Investments and Finance, Plan its Downscaling to Microfinance

BRAC, an NGO that was formally known as the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee and serves eleven countries as of 2013, has bought 56.6 percent of the shares of Nanda Investments and Finance Public Limited Company, a Sri Lankan finance company specializing in deposits, loans, leasing and installment-based purchases [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) Loans $5.7m to Bank Andara to Support Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Indonesia

Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), a UK-based financial services company, recently announced that it will disburse a loan of IDR 57 billion (USD 5.74 million) to Bank Andara, an Indonesian commercial institution that provides wholesale services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and savings services to individuals. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Creation Investments Social Ventures Fund II Completes Closing with $75m, Disburses Equity Investments in Grupo Finclusion of Mexico; Sonata, Grameen Koota of India

Creation Investments Social Ventures Fund II, a US-based private equity fund managed by Creation Investments Capital Management, has completed final closing with USD 75 million in committed capital. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Caterpillar Foundation Donates $19m to Opportunity International to Reach 17m People in Africa, Asia and Latin America

Opportunity International, a US-based nonprofit organization that provides financial services to poor people in 24 countries, recently announced that Caterpillar Foundation, the philanthropic arm of US-based equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc., has granted Opportunity two multi-year donations totaling USD 19.2 million [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Microlenders Seek More Time to Repay Funds On-Lent in Andhra Pradesh, Where Microlender Sees “No Improvement At All”

Wholesale loans covering INR 55 billion (USD 944 million) in Indian microloans reportedly are at risk of becoming classified as “non-performing assets” (NPAs) if microfinance institutions (MFIs) do not begin making payments on the loans before the expiration of a 90-day repayment window that begins on June 30, 2013. 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: FINCA Becomes Majority Shareholder of Kashf Microfinance Bank of Pakistan with $8.4m Investment

Kashf Microfinance Bank Limited (KMBL), a Pakistan-based microfinance bank (MFB), recently announced an equity injection of PKR 824.7 million (USD 8.4 million) from FINCA Microfinance Coöperatief U.A., a Netherlands-based entity controlled by US-based NGO FINCA International. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives, Habitat for Humanity Thailand, Citi Foundation Launch “Microsavings Program for Home Improvement”

Executive Vice President Somsak Kangteerawat of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives (BAAC), a government-owned bank in Thailand that extends credit to farmers, and Board Chairman Piriyah Wisedjinda of Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Thailand, a branch of the US-based NGO HFH International, have signed a memorandum of understanding establishing the “Microsavings Program for Home Improvement”, which is intended to support home improvements for low-income families living in areas of Thailand that are prone to flooding. Continue reading

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