Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mobile Bank Accounts in Pakistan Increase 25% to 1.8m over 3 Months

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the central banking authority of the country, recently released data indicating the number of mobile bank accounts in Pakistan increased 25 percent to 1.8 million during the three months ending September 30, 2012. 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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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CreditEase Inclusive Finance Wholesale Fund of China Loans $800k to First 5 Beneficiaries

CreditEase, a Beijing-based wealth management firm, recently delivered CNY 5 million (USD 800,000) from its Inclusive Finance Wholesale Fund to five undisclosed rural microcredit non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in China. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Accion’s Frontier Investments, Saama Capital Invest $4m in Equity in Shubham Housing Development Finance of India

Frontier Investments Group, an investment vehicle of the US-based nonprofit Accion, recently announced that it, along with Saama Capital, a venture focused investment firm in India, invested a total of USD 4 million in equity in India’s Shubham Housing Development Finance Company. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India: Islamic Banking Not Workable Under Current Law, Financial Literacy Needs Boost

At a recent event in Kochi, India, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Duvvuri Subbarao reportedly ruled out the implementation of Islamic banking in the country at this time due to legal issues that would require a new law in order to allow the practice. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Banks in Indonesia Claim Readiness for Branchless Banking, Pending Regulation Issuance

Banks across Indonesia have reportedly stated that their information technology systems will be ready to handle branchless banking by 2013 pending the issuance of authorizing regulation from Bank Indonesia (BI), the country’s central bank and financial regulator. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Trends in Cross-Border Funding for Microfinance; Microinsurance Among Microcredit Groups in Tanzania; Asian Development Bank Interventions Fail to Reach Enough Poor People

Current Trends in Cross-Border Funding for Microfinance;” by Estelle Lahaye and Ralitsa Rizvanolli; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); December 2012; 4 pages; available at: http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/Brief-Current-Trends-in-Cross-Border-Funding-for-Microfinance-Nov-2012.pdf Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Azerbaijan Microfinance Association Proposes Guarantee Fund for Agricultural Credits

The Azerbaijan Microfinance Association (AMFA), a trade group of 28 microfinance institutions, recently announced that it will explore the possibility of creating a guarantee fund to insure up to 80 percent of an entrepreneur’s agricultural loan. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Globe Telecom of the Philippines to Expand GCash Mobile Services to Point of Sale (POS)

Globe Telecom, a telecommunications company in the Philippines, is reportedly planning on expanding its GCash mobile services to include point-of-sale (POS). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Entrepreneurs Amit Patni, Arihant Patni Acquire Stake in Grameen Capital India

Grameen Capital India (GCI), an investor in microfinance institutions and other social enterprises, recently announced the acquisition of a 43 percent stake in the company by Indian technology entrepreneurs Amit and Arihant Patni. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: TransferTo Partners with AT&T, Taiwan Mobile, Korvac Holdings to Allow Customers to Send, Receive Phone Airtime in the Americas and Asia

TransferTo International, a telecommunications company incorporated in Singapore, recently partnered with AT&T, a US-based telecommunications provider, to allow AT&T mobile phone subscribers in the US to execute TransferTo International Top-Ups via short message service (SMS), also known as text messaging. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: responsAbility Social Investments Disburses $14m to LOLC Micro Credit Limited of Sri Lanka

ResponsAbility Social Investments, a Swiss investment company, recently disbursed USD 14 million in return for a promissory note from LOLC Microcredit Limited (LOMC), a Sri Lankan microfinance institution (MFI) that provides individual and group loans to microentrepreneurs in Sri Lanka’s agricultural districts. Continue reading

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