Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

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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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: ACLEDA Bank of Cambodia to Launch Microfinance Operations in Myanmar in January 2013

In Myanmar, which recently lifted restrictions barring wholly foreign-owned direct investments, ACLEDA Bank Public Limited Company (PLC), a Cambodian commercial bank specializing in microfinance, plans to launch microfinance operations by January 2013. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD): Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) Owed by Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in India Rise 50% to $400m

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), an institution of the Indian government, released a report entitled “Status of Microfinance in India, 2011-12” that indicates that non-performing assets (NPAs) owed by self-help groups (SHGs) in the country were increasing and that lenders were cutting back their exposure to SHGs as a result. SHGs are village based financial intermediaries that facilitate microcredit and saving. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Smart Communications to Launch Mobile Microfinance Service Provider mBank Philippines

Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), a wireless service provider and subsidiary of the publicly-traded Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), will be launching mBank Philippines, which is billed as the country’s first microfinance bank to offer all of its services only via a mobile platform. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, World Bank’s FIRST Initiative Report: Life, Health Microinsurance Market Demand is 35m Policies

At a recent “Roundtable on Microinsurance” held in Karachi, Pakistan, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), in concert with the Financial Sector Reform and Strengthening (FIRST) Initiative, a program of the World Bank that funds technical assistance for financial sectors in low- and middle-income countries, released a diagnostic report on the demand for and supply of microinsurance in the country. Continue reading

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