Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: “Harry Potter” Cinema Actress Emma Watson to Serve as Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations (UN) Women

United Nations (UN) Women, the UN organization “dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women,” has announced Emma Watson, a British actress, will serve as Goodwill Ambassador for the organization. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Increases Syndicated Loan to National Development Bank of Sri Lanka from $125m to $200m for On-Lending to Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the World Bank Group, has increased the size of the syndicated loan that it provided in March 2014 to the National Development Bank (NDB), a financial services company owned by the government of Sri Lanka, from USD 125 million to USD 200 million. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Invest. Catalyze. Mainstream. The Indian Impact Investing Story;” by Nisha Dutt, Usha Ganesh, Prashant Chandrasekaran, Payal Agarwal, Samved Patil, Ankit Gupta; Published by Intellecap

“Invest. Catalyze. Mainstream. The Indian Impact Investing Story;” by Nisha Dutt, Usha Ganesh, Prashant Chandrasekaran, Payal Agarwal, Samved Patil and Ankit Gupta; published by Intellecap, April 2014, 70 pages, available at http://intellecap.com/publications/invest-catalyze-mainstream-india-impact-investing-story

India is a major hub for impact investing – an investment approach that pursues financial returns while seeking social and environmental improvements in low-income communities. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Allows Non-banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) to Work as Agents for Banks

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), a government agency charged with overseeing the Indian financial sector, has revised its regulations to permit non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) that do not accept deposits to act as business correspondents for Indian banks, providing limited financial services to clients in unbanked areas. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Pakistan-based Microfinance Institution (MFI) Wasil Foundation Wins $100k Islamic Microfinance Challenge 2014

The Wasil Foundation (Wasil), a nonprofit that aims to alleviate poverty through enterprise development in Pakistan, has won the 2014 Islamic Microfinance Challenge, a competition that promotes Sharia-compliant microfinance products, which prohibit interest payments in keeping with Islamic practices. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Revises Reporting Requirements, Other Guidelines for Banks’ Microfinance Operations

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, has expanded the amount of reporting that banks must perform regarding their microfinance operations with the aim of helping BSP create “evidence-based policies that are responsive to the needs of the market” [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India Simplifies “Know Your Customer” Requirement for Establishing Bank Accounts

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central banking authority, has announced that it has simplified the “Know Your Customer” (KYC) process that it requires commercial banks in India to undertake before opening bank accounts for individuals. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Industrial Development Bank of India Federal Life Insurance Launches Seven Individual, Group Plans

Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) Federal Life Insurance, a joint venture of the government-backed IDBI, the commercial Federal Bank of India, and Belgian insurer Ageas, has launched four individual and three group insurance plans in India. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Absolute Portfolio Management’s Vision Microfinance Funds Loan $9.4m to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Armenia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Peru, Sri Lanka, Tanzania

Absolute Portfolio Management (APM), an arm of Austria-based asset group C-Quadrat, recently informed MicroCapital that it has distributed credits worth approximately USD 9.4 million through its two Vision Microfinance funds to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Armenia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Peru, Sri Lanka and Tanzania. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Microcredit Summit Campaign Report; responsAbility Financial, Social Impact Assessment; Microinsurance Education in Zambia

“Resilience: The State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign Report, 2014;” published by RESULTS Educational Fund; 2014; 68 pages; available in web format at http://stateofthecampaign.org/2014-report-executive-summary/or for purchase as a PDF or in print form at http://www.scribd.com/doc/229959504/Resilience-The-State-of-the-Microcredit-Summit-Campaign-Report-2014

This report examines the reach and effectiveness of microfinance institutions (MFIs) on a global scale using data as recent as from 2012. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFMR of India Receives Approval to Launch “FImpact Investment Fund”

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has approved the launch of the “IFMR FImpact Investment Fund” (IFMR FImpact), a social-venture scheme managed by IFMR Investment Managers Private Limited (IFMR Investments), the asset management arm of the Chennai-based, nonprofit IFMR Trust Group. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Punjab, MasterCard Launch Electronic Government-To-Person Social Security Payment System in Pakistan

The Bank of Punjab, which is owned by the government of the Pakistani province of Punjab, and MasterCard Incorporated, a US-based payments and technology company with operations in 210 countries and territories, recently announced a “Social Security Program” to convert government assistance to individuals to electronic payments. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Transfers Microfinance Portfolio in Myanmar to Pact Global Microfinance Fund

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), whose goal is to work toward the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, reportedly has transferred the portion of its microfinance portfolio that is disbursed in Myanmar to the US-based Pact Global Microfinance Fund (PGMF), which disburses microcredit and offers business training in Myanmar’s rural regions. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: ANZ Royal Bank, Microfinance Institution (MFI) Hattha Kaksekar Limited (HKL) to Share Branches, ATMs

ANZ Royal Bank (ANZ), a joint venture between the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ Group) and the Cambodian Royal Group of Companies, and Hattha Kaksekar Limited (HKL), a Cambodian microfinance institution (MFI), reportedly have entered into a partnership to offer a wider range of financial service products to the clients of the two institutions. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank Indonesia Revises Electronic Money Policy, Allows Banks with $2b in Core Capital to Offer “Digital Financial Services” Via Agents

Bank Indonesia (BI), the central bank of Indonesia, reportedly has amended its electronic money regulations to allow all banks with at least IDR 30 trillion (USD 2.6 billion) in core capital to offer “digital financial services” to customers including the option for third-party agents to provide access to services in rural areas on behalf of the banks. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bandhan Financial Services of India Plans Public Offering (IPO) Within Three Years

Bandhan Financial Services, an Indian microfinance institution that recently received a provisional banking license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), reportedly is planning to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO) sometime within the next three years. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF) Loans $2m to Cambodian Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea; Invests $546k in Equity in Palestinian Arab Center for Agricultural Development

The Luxembourg-based Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), which provides financial services to “social businesses,” recently informed MicroCapital that it has provided a three-year loan of EUR 1.5 million (USD 2.05 million) to Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea Company Limited (AMK), a microfinance institution located in Cambodia. Continue reading

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