Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Thai Office of Insurance Commission Promotes Microinsurance, Introduces $6 Life Product

The Office of Insurance Commission (OIC), a government agency that regulates and supervises the insurance industry of Thailand, has started a drive to promote microinsurance in the country and announced that it will launch a life insurance policy aimed at poor people [1]. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Mobile Money Agents in Uganda; Sustainable Microfinance; Mobile Money for the Global Unbanked

“Agent Network Accelerator Survey: Uganda Country Report 2013;” published by Helix Institute of Digital Finance; January 2014; 26 pages; available at http://www.helix-institute.com/data-and-insights/agent-network-accelerator-survey-%E2%80%93-uganda-country-report-2013-0

This document presents the results of a study conducted by the US-based nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and India-based for-profit consultancy MicroSave that seeks to identify the challenges, trends and successes of the mobile money market in Uganda by surveying 2,000 agents. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Dingyi Venture Capital of China Grants $3m to International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Fund Assessment of Financial Services Available to Microenterprises in Rural China, Other Initiatives

Dingyi Venture Capital of China has awarded a grant of USD 3 million to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private investment arm of the World Bank Group, to fund various initiatives in rural China including an assessment of existing financial services available to microenterprises. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Saving for Change Reaches 85k Members in Cambodia, 680k Worldwide

Saving for Change (SfC), a saving-group initiative that was established in 2005 by nonprofit organizations Oxfam America, Freedom from Hunger and the Stromme Foundation, has grown to serve approximately 85,000 women in Cambodia as of March 2014 since its launch in that country in 2011. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: United Nations, Smart Communications, Land Bank of Philippines Use Mobile Money in Recovery from Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in partnership with Smart Communications Incorporated (Smart), a Philippines-based telecommunications company, and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), a government bank specializing in serving farmers and fishermen, reportedly have commenced using mobile money to facilitate wage payments under UNDP’s “cash-for-work ” program that was launched for the 12 month period beginning in November 2013 in areas of the Philippines struck by typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), World Bank (WB) to Develop National Financial Inclusion Strategy for Pakistan

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the nation’s central banking authority, and the World Bank (WB), a US-based multilateral institution, reportedly have announced a partnership to develop a National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) for Pakistan. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC), Mongolia Seek to Improve Secured-Transaction Payment System

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the US-based World Bank Group, has recently partnered with Mongolia’s Ministry of Justice to augment Mongolia’s regulatory system for secured-transaction payments, transactions between lenders and borrowers that are predicated on borrowers’ collateral. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: PlaNet Finance, China Microfinance Institution Association (CMIA) Seek to Strengthen Risk Management

PlaNet Finance, an NGO based in Paris, France, recently announced a partnership with the China Microfinance Institution Association (CMIA), a trade group of microfinance institutions (MFIs), to enhance risk management in the microfinance industry in China. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: China Commercial Credit Launches Online Loan Portal “Pride Lending Group”

China Commercial Credit, a microcredit company based in the Chinese city of Suzhou, recently announced that it has launched an online lending portal called Pride Lending Club. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Fish Farming Project in Nepal Wins Social Venture Challenge at Seventh Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA

The “Sustainable Fish Farming Project”, proposed to provide 500 families in the Baseri village of Nepal with funding to start fish farms, recently won a grant of USD 7,500 from the Resolution Project Social Venture Challenge, a competition among aspiring entrepreneurs who attended the seventh annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) meeting at the US-based Arizona State University, Phoenix [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Insurance Commission of the Philippines Promotes Alternative Dispute Resolution in Microinsurance

The Insurance Commission of the Philippines (ICP), a government agency that regulates and supervises the country’s insurance industry, has been holding seminars in various parts of the country to present its latest strategies in consumer protection for microinsurance clients. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Aavishkaar to Raise $75m for “Frontier Fund” to Invest in South, Southeast Asia

Aavishkaar, an Indian manager of impact-oriented venture capital investments, reportedly plans to raise USD 75 million for its newly launched Aavishkaar Frontier Fund, an international social venture capital fund that aims to place investments in 300 start-ups in various countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia including Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Citi Replicates Mobile Collect Fund Transfer Service in China, India

Citi Asia, a subsidiary of US-based bank Citigroup in Asia, recently launched Citi Mobile Collect, a mobile payment platform that enables customers to complete fund transfers via mobile phones, in China and India. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Grants Preliminary Approval to Microlender Bandhan to Receive Banking License

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, recently granted “in-principle” approval to the Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC), an Indian financial services provider based in the city of Mumbai, and Bandhan Financial Services Private Limited, a microfinance institution (MFI) based in the Indian city of Kolkata, to acquire banking licenses. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF) Lends $4m to Arvand of Tajikistan, Bina Artha Ventura of Indonesia, Thaneakea Phum of Cambodia

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based investor in microfinance institutions (MFIs), recently announced the disbursement of the first tranche of a 54-month loan of EUR 1.04 million (USD 1.43 million) to Arvand, a financial institution that provides microcredit to low-income individuals in Tajikistan. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India-based Satin Creditcare Raises $4.7m in Equity from Norwegian Microfinance Initiative (NMI)

Satin Creditcare Network (Satin), an Indian microfinance institution (MFI), recently announced that it has raised INR 284 million (USD 4.7 million) in equity from the Norwegian Microfinance Initiative (NMI), a Norway-based public-private partnership that invests in and offers technical support to MFIs. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Etisalat Lanka of Sri Lanka, Dialog Axiata of UAE Partner to Extend Ezcash Mobile Payment System in Sri Lanka

Dialog Axiata (DA), a Sri Lankan mobile communications subsidiary of Malaysia’s Axiata Group Berhad, reportedly has announced that it will begin a partnership with Etisalat Lanka (EL), a cellular network owned by the Emirates Telecommunications Corporation of the United Arab Emirates, to extend Dialog’s “eZcash” mobile payments to EL’s customers in Sri Lanka. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India-based NeoGrowth Raises $1.7m from Aspada Investment Company

NeoGrowth Credit, an Indian non-bank financial company that makes working capital and inventory loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country, recently announced that it has raised INR 100 million (USD 1.7 million) from Aspada Investment Company, an Indian investor in early-stage businesses that target low-income consumers. Continue reading

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