Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Securing the Silent: Microinsurance in India: The Story So Far” by Premasis Mukherjee, Rosalind Piggot and Sunil Bhat; published by MicroSave

By Premasis Mukherjee, Rosalind Piggot and Sunil Bhat; published by MicroSave; December 2012; 63 pages; available at: http://www.microsave.org/sites/default/files/research_papers/Securing_the_Silent_MI_Report.pdf

This paper examines the microinsurance industry in India, specifically the industry for life and health microinsurance. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Singapore’s Tagit, Vietnam’s Smartlink Launch Mobile Banking Service in Vietnam

Tagit, a Singaporean mobile technology company, reportedly has partnered with Vietnamese mobile payment provider Smartlink to launch a mobile banking service that will link the customers of 51 financial institutions and insurance providers. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) Relaxes Paperwork Requirements for Microinsurance Customers

Out of concern that the policy has hindered financial inclusion, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), India’s insurance regulator, will no longer require written confirmation from banks as proof of residence from those seeking to purchase microinsurance products. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: LOLC Microcredit Limited of Sri Lanka Receives $55m Syndicated Loan Funds from FMO, OPEC Fund for International Development, PROPARCO, Cordiant Capital

Lanka Orix Leasing Company (LOLC) Micro Credit Limited, the microfinance arm of Sri Lankan financial service provider LOLC, has received a five-year syndicated loan of USD 55.5 million. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited Offers Microfinance Loans, Training

The Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited (BOCHK), a commercial banking group in Hong Kong, recently launched its “Microfinance Scheme,” which provides training and loans to “people who wish to start their own business, become self-employed or achieve self-enhancement through training, skills upgrading or obtaining professional qualifications” [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: ACLEDA Bank of Cambodia Borrows $40m From IFC Capitalization Fund

The IFC Capitalization Fund, a global equity and subordinated-debt fund founded by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, recently issued a subordinated loan in the amount of USD 40 million to ACLEDA Bank Plc, a retail bank based in Cambodia, to augment the bank’s financing of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nepal to Require Non-Life Insurance Companies to Introduce Agriculture, Livestock Insurance

Beema Samiti, the insurance regulatory authority of Nepal, reportedly plans to introduce an Agriculture and Livestock Insurance Directive making it obligatory for non-life insurance companies to offer insurance policies on crops, livestock and poultry. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Representatives of Nepal’s Rural Microfinance Development Center (RMDC), Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Express Cautious Optimism About Microfinance Reducing Poverty While Conceding There Are High Interest Rates, Mission Drift

At a recent event in Kathmandu entitled Revisiting Nepal Microfinance Vision 2015, government officials reportedly cited positive socioeconomic effects from microfinance while shedding light on the challenges faced by the industry. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institution Ujjivan of India Reduces Interest Rates to 25% for New Group Loans, 24% for Returning Customers

Ujjivan Financial Services, a microfinance institution (MFI) based in India, recently decreased the interest rates it charges on loans to poor borrowers by one to two percentage points. The effective interest rate for new group loans is now 25 percent per year, down from 26 percent. The rate for loans to previous group and individual customers is now 24 percent per year, reduced from 26 percent. The rate for first-time loans to individuals was not disclosed. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) Among Banks Requiring Third-Party Assessment of Codes of Conduct from Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Seeking Wholesale Loans

A group of lenders headed by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), a state-owned bank, have made it compulsory for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country to undergo third-party assessments of their codes of conduct in order to receive loans. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: After Reserve Bank of India Caps Microfinance Institution Interest Rates at 26%, Investors Eye Non-Banking Financial Companies

Microfinance investors reportedly are seeking to invest in India’s non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) established a new regulation framework in 2011 that included an interest rate cap of 26 percent on loans disbursed by microfinance institutions (MFIs). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India Projected to Issue Banking Licenses to L&T Finance Holding, Shriram Group, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services

Antique Stock Broking Ltd., an India-based financial services conglomerate, reportedly has projected that L&T Finance Holding, Shriram Group and Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services are the three non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) most likely to receive banking licenses shortly from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Continue reading

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