Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Australia Donates $6m to Laos-Focused “Making Access to Finance More Inclusive for Poor People” Programme of the United Nations

The government of Australia has committed a donation of USD 6.15 million to support the United Nations Development Cooperation Forum (UNDCF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in their joint programme titled “Making Access to Finance More Inclusive for Poor People” (MAFIPP), which is implemented by the Bank of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (BLPDR), the central bank of Laos, with the aim of improving poor rural household access to a variety of financial services. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL EVENT: Magenta Global to Host 4th Mobile Payments & Banking Summit for Greater Mekong & Emerging Markets, June 12-13, 2013, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Event Name: 4th Mobile Payments & Banking Summit for Greater Mekong & Emerging Markets

Event Date: June 12-13, 2013

Event Location: NagaWorld Hotel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Ahon sa Hirap Incorporated, Philippine Social Security System to Expand Coverage to 25,000 Women Entrepreneurs

The Social Security System (SSS), the Philippines’ state-owned pension fund for private sector employees, reportedly has announced a new agreement with Philippines-based microfinance institution (MFI) Ahon Sa Hirap Incorporated (ASHI) to expand SSS coverage to 25,000 female ASHI borrowers. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nine Indian Impact Investment Companies Forming “Indian Impact Investor Council”

Nine companies that specialize in impact investment reportedly will be establishing the “Indian Impact Investor Council” (IIIC) to establish guidelines helping investment companies in India regulate their efforts to meet social goals. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: State Bank of Pakistan’s Credit Guarantee Scheme for Small, Rural Businesses Extends Loan Repayment Term to 5 Years

The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP’s) Credit Guarantee Scheme for Small and Rural Businesses (CGS), which aims to increase financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in rural areas via retail banks, reportedly will extend client loan terms from three years to five years in an effort to increase economic opportunities by facilitating the purchase of tractors and other agricultural tools. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Savings Groups in Rural Mali, Three Market Archetypes Advancing Financial Inclusion, Long-term Trends in India’s Rural Credit Market

“Final Impact Evaluation of the Savings for Change Program in Mali;” by Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology at The University of Arizona and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA); published by Oxfam America and Freedom from Hunger; April 2013; 215 pages; available at http://www.oxfamamerica.org/issues/community-finance/files/final-impact-evaluation-saving-for-change

This report presents the results from a study conducted by The University of Arizona and Innovations for Poverty (IPA) between 2009 and 2012 intended to explore the impact of savings groups in 500 villages in rural Mali, where 82 percent of surveyed households live on approximately USD 1.25 per day and the “typical village is more than 14 miles from a paved road.” Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank Indonesia Releases “Guiding Principles” for Branchless Banking Trial; Indosat, Telkomsel, PT XL Axiata to Offer Money Transfers for $0.21

Bank Indonesia, the country’s central bank, recently issued “guiding principles” for upcoming tests of a banking and payment system through existing Financial Services Intermediary Units (FSIU), registered third-party services which facilitate the provision of non-conventional banking services. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF) Loans $370k to Microfinance Institution Chamroeun of Cambodia

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based nonprofit that provides financial services to microfinance institutions, recently notified MicroCapital that it approved a three-year, local-currency loan equivalent to approximately USD 370,000 to Chamroeun, a Cambodian microfinance institution. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Land Bank of Philippines Announces Bayadload E-Payment Service for Mandatory Government Contributions

The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), a government bank specializing in serving farmers and fishermen, has announced that it will partner with Smart Hub, a subsidiary of Filipino telecom Smart Communications, to offer a new e-payment channel called “BayadLoad” to allow household workers or their employers to make mandatory government contributions using their mobile phones. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Oxigen of India Unveils OxiCash Money Transfer Service

Oxigen, an India-based payment solutions provider, has announced a new mobile money transfer service called OxiCash, which is intended to provide poor people with a “mobile wallet” for receiving funds and transferring money between bank accounts. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean, Savings Groups Leading to Advocacy, Microinsurance in the Philippines

“Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean in 2012: Differing Behavior Across Subregions;” by Maria Luisa Hayem; published by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF); 2013; 27 pages; available at http://www5.iadb.org/mif/HOME/Knowledge/tabid/426/idPublication/78709/language/en-US/Default.aspx

This report from the US-based Multilateral Investment Fund provides an analysis of remittances received across national borders by people in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangladeshi Microfinance Institutions Boost All-Time Microcredit Disbursals to $2.7b

A recent report from Bangladesh’s Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA), a Bangladeshi agency charged with licensing and supervising microfinance institutions (MFIs), reportedly indicates that as of June 2012, the end of the last fiscal year, Bangladeshi MFIs have disbursed approximately BDT 211 billion (USD 2.7 billion) in microcredit since such data has been tracked. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Pakistan’s Habib Bank Limited (HBL) Establishes Branchless Banking Service “HBL Express”

Habib Bank Limited (HBL), a Pakistani commercial bank, has implemented a new branchless banking service, HBL Express. Continue reading

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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

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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: http://www.microfinancegateway.org/gm/document-1.9.61072/Rural_Finance_in%20Laos_Paper_GIZ_2012.pdf

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

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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

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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

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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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