Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Commercial Banks in India Seek to Expand Microlending: Housing Development Finance Corporation, IndusInd Bank, Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI)

Commercial banks in India reportedly are gaining interest in offering microfinance services to low-income individuals. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Annapurna Microfinance of India Raises $5m in Series B Financing from Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), Incofin

The Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries, a public-private partnership established by the government of Belgium and known by the Dutch acronym BIO, has led a Series-B investment of INR 300 million (USD 5 million) with participation of undisclosed amount from Rural Impulse Fund II, a microfinance investment vehicle managed by Belgium’s Incofin Investment Management, in Indian microfinance institution (MFI) Annapurna Microfinance Private Limited. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Invests $14.4m in Equity in Philippine Resources (PR) Savings Banking Corporation to Expand Rural Operations

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a US-based development finance institution, recently announced an equity investment of PHP 650 million (USD 14.4 million) in Philippine Resources Savings Banking Corporation (PR Savings Bank), a rural commercial bank based in Cauayan City in the Philippines. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) Applies to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for Self-Regulatory Organization Status

The Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), a trade association composed of 47 Indian microlenders that operate as non-banking finance companies, reportedly has applied to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, for status as a “self-regulatory organization” (SRO). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Manappuram of India Acquires Milestone Home Finance

Manappuram Finance Limited, an India-based non-banking finance company, recently signed an agreement to acquire Milestone Home Finance Company, an organization licensed to provide housing finance in India, from Jaypee Hotels, an India-based hospitality company, Continue reading

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OPINION: No Silver Bullet: While Microfinance Alone Won’t End Poverty, It Is Making an Impact – So Let’s Re-focus It to Serve the Poor

The debate about the contributions that microfinance is making to global poverty alleviation is an interesting one. But it’s also getting a little tedious.

We are all disappointed that microfinance has not, as the popular culture has promoted it, proven to be the “silver bullet” for poverty alleviation. If, however, we challenge ourselves to really understand (and be transparent about) the strengths and limitations of microfinance, and begin to think about it as just one part of a more comprehensive package of development services, the debate (and potential for impact) becomes much more interesting. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: By December, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) May Issue First New Banking Licenses Since 2004

The Indian Express, a provider of business news in India, recently speculated that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, will issue at least three new banking licenses either in the second quarter of 2014 or near the end of the year. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grama Vidiyal Microfinance of India Borrows from World Business Capital

Grama Vidiyal Microfinance, a microfinance institution (MFI) operating in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, has raised an undisclosed amount of financing through both senior and subordinate loans from World Business Capital, a US-based lender to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MNepal, eServGlobal to Provide Mobile Financial Services in Nepal

Two mobile financial services companies, Nepal-based MNepal and France-based eServGlobal, have partnered to offer a new unnamed mobile money platform that will allow customers of member banks in Nepal to deposit, withdraw and transfer funds via their mobile phones. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s IntelleGrow Completes Second Round of Financing, Raising $4.6m from Omidyar Network, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation

IntelleGrow, an India-based lender to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), recently announced that it raised INR 250 million (USD 4.1 million) from Omidyar Network, a US-based social investment firm, and INR 30 million (USD 500,000) from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, a US-based nonprofit institution, in return for stakes in the company of undisclosed size. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Considers Relaxing Capital Requirements for New Bank Licenses

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, recently commissioned an investigative panel, the Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low Income Households (the Committee), to create a policy framework for achieving financial inclusion in India and to make formal recommendations on how to implement the framework. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Unfixes Microloan Interest Rate Cap to Vary Based on Cost of Funding

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, has announced that as of April 1, 2014, it will remove the 26-percent interest rate cap established in 2011 on all microloans extended by microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Supervisory Committee of Myanmar Caps Microloans at $509, Interest Rates at 2.5% per Month

The Microfinance Supervisory Committee (MSC), the microfinance regulatory body in Myanmar, reportedly set a limit of MMK 500,000 (USD 509) for loans issued by microfinance institutions (MFIs). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bandhan of India Borrows $26m From International Finance Corporation (IFC), Seeks $16m From Swiss Investor

Bandhan Financial Services, an India-based microfinance institution (MFI) that offers loans for health emergencies and microenterprise, reportedly has raised INR 1.6 billion (USD 26 million) in debt financing from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the US-based World Bank Group’s private investment arm, and is seeking to raise another INR 1 billion (USD 16 million) from an unnamed Swiss multinational investor. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Acleda Bank Plans to Open 12 New Branches in Myanmar, 4 in Laos

Alceda Bank, a microfinance bank based in Cambodia, reportedly plans to expand its operations in Myanmar and in Laos. By the end of 2014, it intends to increase its network of branches from six to 18 in Myanmar and from 41 to 45 branches in Laos. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Commercial Credit and Finance of Sri Lanka Raises $12m by Selling 25% Equity Stake to Creation Investments

Commercial Credit and Finance (CCF), a Sri Lanka-based financial company, recently reached an agreement with Creation Investments Social Ventures Fund II, a private equity fund managed by US-based Creation Investments Capital Management, to raise LKR 1.68 billion (USD 12.4 million) in equity funding through an issue of 80 million new shares. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Philippine Government Launches $20m Facility to Offer Microloans Up To $7k for Farmers, Fishermen

The government of the Philippines has instituted a credit facility of USD 20 million intended to provide microloans to “small-scale” farmers and fishermen [1]. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Inclusix Index of Financial Inclusion in India; Obstacles to Access in Microinsurance; Microfinance in Kenya

“CRISIL Inclusix: An index to measure India’s progress on Financial Inclusion;” published by Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL); June 2013; 101 pages; available at http://crisil.com/pdf/corporate/CRISIL-Inclusix.pdf

Based on data from 2009 through 2011, this report gives an overview of the findings of the CRISIL Inclusix index, an analytical tool designed by Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL) to measure progress in financial inclusion in India at the national, regional, state and district levels. Continue reading

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