The Metrobank Foundation, an arm of Philippine financial conglomerate Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (Metrobank Group) recently announced that it plans to expand its microfinance project that is focused on Filipino citizens who work overseas, with particular attention to domestic workers based in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Myanmar Investments Limited (MIL), a subsidiary of British Virgin Islands-based investment company Myanmar Investments International Limited (MIIL), recently entered into a conditional joint venture agreement with Myanmar Finance Company Limited (MFC), a Myanmar-based microfinance institution (MFI), to create Myanmar Finance International Limited (MFIL), which will be based in Myanmar and provide microfinance services in the country.
Event Name: 3rd International Workshop on Inclusive Finance: Making Finance and Insurance Markets Work for the Poor
Event Date: October 31 – November 2, 2014
Event Location: Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur, India
The Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA), a Bangladeshi government body that oversees the operations of nongovernmental organization (NGO) microfinance institutions (MFIs), reportedly has issued a warning to MFIs in the country in response to violations of MRA regulations such as the requirement of a 15-day grace period on new loans before collecting loan repayments as well as the use of a declining-balance method of calculating interest.
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” and is intended to extend “banking, credit, insurance and pension services” to every household in the country.
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.
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.
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).
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).
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Hana Bank, a Seoul-based commercial bank that is the primary banking subsidiary of South Korean Hana Financial Group, reportedly has announced the establishment of Hana Microfinance, a microfinance institution (MFI) in Myanmar.
Hatton National Bank (HNB), a private commercial bank in Sri Lanka, reportedly is planning to acquire a 51-percent stake in Prime Grameen Micro Finance, a Sri Lankan microfinance institution (MFI), for LKR 660 million (USD 5 million).
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.
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.