Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Accion Venture Lab Invests in 5 Startups Aiming to Bring Financial Services to Poor People, Including Salud Facil of Mexico, Varthana of India

Accion, a US-based provider of microenterprise loans and business training in 31 countries, has announced that its Accion Venture Lab, which provides seed capital and management support to financial inclusion startups, will invest an aggregate of USD 10 million in startup companies that deliver financial services to poor people around the globe. Continue reading


MICROFINANCE PUBLICATON ROUND-UP: Rural Finance in Laos, Micro-Health Insurance in Rural India, Distribution Models in Mobile Financial Services

“Rural Finance in Loas: GIZ Experience in Remote Rural Areas;” by Klaus Prochaska, Dennis Fischer, Philipp Hauger, Tony Deary; published by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ); December 2012; 40 pages; available at:

This report presents an analysis of the “Microfinance in Rural Areas – Access to Finance for the Poor” project, which is operated by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), an agency of the German Government, in partnership with the Bank of Lao, the central bank of Laos. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Absolute Portfolio Management Loans $13m from Dual Return Funds to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in South America, Eurasia Including FINCA Armenia

Absolute Portfolio Management (APM), an Austria-based firm that invests in microfinance and other sectors, recently notified MicroCapital that it loaned the equivalent of USD 13 million during April 2013 through two of the funds that it manages to microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Honduras, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Peru, the Philippines, Russia and Tajikistan. Of this amount, USD 7.5 million was issued in local currency. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India Aims to Increase Financial Inclusion in Unbanked Areas; Number of Indian Villages with Financial Access Tripled to 211k

According to data presented by Deepali Pant Joshi, executive director of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), at the recent International Summit of Skill Development in New Delhi, the number of villages with access to banks has risen from 67,000 in March 2010 to 211,000 in December 2012 out of a total of 600,000 villages in the country. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL EVENT: Microcredit Summit Campaign, Microfinance Council of the Philippines to Host 2013 Partnerships Against Poverty Summit, October 9-11, 2013, Manila, Philippines

Event Name: 2013 Partnerships Against Poverty Summit

Event Date: October 9-11, 2013

Event Location: Philippine International Convention Center, Manila, Philippines

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Cambodian Microfinance Institution Hattha Kaksekar Launches SmartVista E-Payment Service from BPC

Hattha Kaksekar Limited, a Cambodian microfinance institution (MFI), recently announced its launch of SmartVista, an electronic payments solution created by Banking Production Centre (BPC) Banking Technologies, a mobile technology solutions provider with offices in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Russia. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation, Bank of Shanghai Launch $80m Loan, Advisory Program Supporting Energy Upgrades for Small, Medium-sized Enterprises

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the World Bank Group, has provided a finance facility totaling CNY 500 million (USD 80 million) to China’s Bank of Shanghai to on-lend to energy-efficiency and renewable-energy projects among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in China. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: US-Based Sequoia Capital Invests $2m in Equity in Electronic Payment Platform, Citrus Pay

Citrus Pay, a Mumbai-based digital payments service provider, and Ezetap Mobile Solutions, a Bangalore-based mobile payments service provider, have developed electronic payment platforms that address internet security and connectivity challenges, both of which have discouraged Indian consumers from using digital payment methods. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Stree Nidhi to Loan $308m to Self-help Groups in Indian State of Andhra Pradesh in 2013

Stree Nidhi Credit Cooperation Federation Limited, a microfinance bank established by the government of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, recently agreed to loan INR 16.9 billion (USD 308 million) to self-help groups (SHGs) in Andhra Pradesh during the fiscal year ending March 2014. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Sells 4.6% Stake of SKS Microfinance to Merrill Lynch Capital Markets Espana for $12m

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS), a banking and insurance company with operations in Europe, North America and Asia, reportedly has sold its 4.6-percent stake in SKS Microfinance, an Indian microfinance institution, through the open market to Merrill Lynch Capital Markets Espana, a subsidiary of US-based Bank of America. Continue reading


MICROFINANCE PUBLICATON ROUND-UP: Drivers of Over-Indebtedness in Cambodia, Accelerating Impact Investing, Mobile Banking in Tanzania

“Study on the Drivers of Over-Indebtedness of Microfinance Borrowers in Cambodia: An In-depth Investigation of Saturated Areas;” by Dannet Liv; published by BlueOrchard Microfinance Investment Management, Incofin Investment Management, Oikocredit; March 2013; 83 pages; available at:

This report presents an analysis of the factors that drive microfinance borrowers in Cambodia to take on excessive levels of debt. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation Places $22m Equity Investment In Ratnakar Bank of India

The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, has made an equity investment of USD 22 million in Ratnakar Bank, a private commercial bank in India, to promote Ratnakar’s efforts to increase access to finance for women in rural areas and agricultural micro-, small and medium-sized businesses, and is reportedly part of INR 3.2 billion (USD 59.3 million) in equity raised by Ratnakar through the issuance of 30 million new shares since January 2013. Continue reading