Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: ACLEDA Bank of Cambodia Borrows $40m From IFC Capitalization Fund

The IFC Capitalization Fund, a global equity and subordinated-debt fund founded by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, recently issued a subordinated loan in the amount of USD 40 million to ACLEDA Bank Plc, a retail bank based in Cambodia, to augment the bank’s financing of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nepal to Require Non-Life Insurance Companies to Introduce Agriculture, Livestock Insurance

Beema Samiti, the insurance regulatory authority of Nepal, reportedly plans to introduce an Agriculture and Livestock Insurance Directive making it obligatory for non-life insurance companies to offer insurance policies on crops, livestock and poultry. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Representatives of Nepal’s Rural Microfinance Development Center (RMDC), Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Express Cautious Optimism About Microfinance Reducing Poverty While Conceding There Are High Interest Rates, Mission Drift

At a recent event in Kathmandu entitled Revisiting Nepal Microfinance Vision 2015, government officials reportedly cited positive socioeconomic effects from microfinance while shedding light on the challenges faced by the industry. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mobile Bank Accounts in Pakistan Increase 25% to 1.8m over 3 Months

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the central banking authority of the country, recently released data indicating the number of mobile bank accounts in Pakistan increased 25 percent to 1.8 million during the three months ending September 30, 2012. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Confederation of Nepalese Industries to Establish $1m Social Business Fund

The Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), a body of 50 large and medium-scale manufacturing and service sector businesses in Nepal, reportedly has promised to establish a USD 1 million social business fund over the next three years. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institution Ujjivan of India Reduces Interest Rates to 25% for New Group Loans, 24% for Returning Customers

Ujjivan Financial Services, a microfinance institution (MFI) based in India, recently decreased the interest rates it charges on loans to poor borrowers by one to two percentage points. The effective interest rate for new group loans is now 25 percent per year, down from 26 percent. The rate for loans to previous group and individual customers is now 24 percent per year, reduced from 26 percent. The rate for first-time loans to individuals was not disclosed. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) Among Banks Requiring Third-Party Assessment of Codes of Conduct from Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Seeking Wholesale Loans

A group of lenders headed by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), a state-owned bank, have made it compulsory for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country to undergo third-party assessments of their codes of conduct in order to receive loans. Continue reading

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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: SKS Microfinance of India Completes $10m Securitization, Stock Reaches 52-Week High

SKS Microfinance, an Indian microfinance institution (MFI), reportedly has completed a securitization deal worth INR 544 million (USD 10 million). 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: Central Bank of Bangladesh Requires Banks to Open 50% New Branches in Rural Areas

The Bank of Bangladesh, the country’s central bank and financial services regulator, has introduced new guidelines regulating the opening of new branches and business centers by commercial banks. 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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