Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Unlocking the Potential: Women and Mobile Financial Services in Emerging Markets;” published by mWomen Global Development Alliance of the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), Visa, Bankable Frontier Associates

Published by Global System for Mobile Communications Association’s mWomen Global Development Alliance, Visa and Bankable Frontier Associates; 2013; 40 pages; available at:

This report analyzes connections between mobile financial services and women’s financial inclusion in the developing world. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Asian Development Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Commit $150m to Microfinance in Asia

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), a multilateral finance institution based in the Philippines, reportedly has partnered with Standard Chartered Bank, a financial services company based in the United Kingdom, to increase access to financial services for poor people in Asia. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bridge Launches with $24m from Accion, Bamboo Finance, DEG, FMO, Paul Kocourek to Support Rural, Thrift Banks in the Philippines

Bridge, a financial services company that plans to provide “capability building services and capital” to rural and thrift banks that focus on low-income populations and micro- and small businesses in the Philippines, recently announced its launch with equity investments totaling USD 24 million from Accion, a US-based nonprofit organization; Bamboo Finance, a Luxembourg-based commercial investment firm; Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft GmbH (DEG), a German development finance institution; the Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappijvoor Ontwikkelingslanden NV (FMO), a Dutch public-private development bank; and Mr Paul Kocourek, Bridge’s co-founder and chairman. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Releases Regulations Governing New Bank Licenses

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, recently released revised regulations for the licensing of new banks that allow private firms, public sector entities and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to establish banks through wholly-owned non-operative financial holding companies (NOFHCs). Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Incofin’s Rural Impulse Fund II, Norwegian Microfinance Initiative (NMI) Frontier Fund, Invest $4.5m in Fusion Microfinance of India

Incofin Investment Management, a Belgium-based manager of microfinance investment funds, and the Norwegian Microfinance Initiative (NMI), a Norway-based corporation that invests in and provides technical support for microfinance institutions (MFIs), recently invested INR 250 million (USD 4.5 million) in Indian non-banking financial company (NBFC) Fusion Microfinance Private Limited. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: China Requires Provinces to Purchase Medical Insurance for Farmers Through Private Providers

The Chinese government reportedly is requiring provincial governments to purchase commercial health insurance for farmers through the New Rural Cooperative Medical Scheme (NRCMS), a social security program run independently by each province and funded by the central government, local governments, farmers’ cooperatives and families. Continue reading


MICROFINANCE PUBLICATON ROUND-UP: The Business Case for Life Microinsurance in the Philippines, MIX Map of Financial Inclusion in India, 2012 Sub-Saharan Africa Snapshot

“The Business Case for Life Microinsurance in the Philippines: Initial Findings;” by Richard Koven, Michael J. McCord, John Wipf and Emily Zimmerman; published by the MicroInsurance Centre; October 2012; 9 pages; available at:

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “How Can Microfinance Programs Help the Struggle Against Social problems Such as Begging, Child Labor, Prostitution, Violence Against Women, Criminality, Gangs, and Drug Addiction?;” by William O. Maddocks; Commissioned by the Global Microcredit Summit

By William O. Maddocks; Commissioned by the Global Microcredit Summit; 2011; 31 pages; available at:

This paper presents an analysis of the role of microfinance institutions in helping to solve “seemingly intractable social problems” including begging, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS and discrimination against the disabled, all while maintaining financial sustainability. Continue reading


MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “2012 Asia Regional Snapshot”; by Amar Samarapally; published by Microfinance Information Exchange

By Amar Samarapally, published by Microfinance Information Exchange, February 2013, 19 pages, available at:

This Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) report reviews the performance of microfinance institutions (MFIs) during 2011 in two of the six world regions designated by MIX: East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) and South Asia. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF) Loans $1.3m to Microfinance Institution Mitra Bisnis Keluarga (MBK) Ventura of Indonesia

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based organization that provides financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and social businesses, recently reported to MicroCapital that it has disbursed a local-currency loan equivalent to USD 1.3 million to Mitra Bisnis Keluarga (MBK) Ventura, an Indonesian MFI that provides capital to low-income women on the island of Java. The terms of the loan have not been released. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: SKS Microfinance Fined $92k for Collecting Improper Fees as Agent of Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), the insurance regulator of India, recently issued Indian microfinance institution (MFI) SKS Microfinance a fine of INR 5 million (USD 91,800) for collecting corporate insurance agent fees beyond the premium price. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nepal Rastra Bank, Rural Microfinance Development Center, Center for Microfinance Nepal Urge Microlenders to Lower Interest Rates, Focus on “Deprived” Sectors

Representatives of the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the country’s central bank; the Rural Microfinance Development Center (RMDC), an organization owned by Nepalese lenders that provides wholesale loans to microfinance institutions (MFIs); and the Center for Microfinance (CMF) Nepal, a nonprofit network dedicated to promoting the country’s microfinance industry, reportedly have urged MFIs to lower microloan interest rates, claiming that a desire for greater profits is hindering financial inclusion. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: SKS Microfinance May Challenge Andhra Pradesh Ruling in Supreme Court

In response to the February 2013 ruling from the High Court of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh that upheld the Andhra Pradesh Microfinance Institution Act, 2010, SKS Microfinance, an Indian for-profit microfinance institution, and other unspecified microlenders reportedly may challenge the decision in the Country’s Supreme Court. Continue reading