Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Waseela Microfinance Bank of Pakistan to Commence Operations With $11m in Backing from Egypt’s Orascom Telecom

Waseela Microfinance Bank, a microfinance bank (MFB) in Pakistan, reportedly has been authorized by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the central banking authority of Pakistan, to commence operations and will begin providing financial services nationwide in the upcoming weeks. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Philippine Prudential Life Insurance Company Records Increase in Paid Microinsurance Claims, Premiums

The Philippine Prudential Life Insurance Company, a Philippines-based financial services provider, reportedly announced that its payments for microinsurance claims have increased by 784 percent from PHP 2.49 million (USD 58,400) in 2010 to PHP 22 million (USD 516,000) in 2011. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bamboo Finance, ZS Associates Co-Founder Invest $4m in Equity in Greenlight Planet to Boost Research, Distribution Network of LED Lamps in Rural India

Bamboo Finance, a Switzerland-based investment firm, and Dr PK Sinha, co-founder of US-based consulting firm ZS Associates, recently invested a total of INR 206 million (USD 4 million) in equity in Greenlight Planet, an Indian company that aims to provide “low-cost” energy products to low-income households in emerging markets. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Insurance Regulatory Authority of Nepal Beema Samiti Announces Insurance Companies to Offer Microinsurance to Individuals, Agribusinesses

Beema Samiti, Nepal’s insurance regulatory authority, reportedly has announced that a microinsurance program is expected to be extended to individuals and microenterprises in Nepal in May 2012 by private insurers. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to Loan $15m to Microfinance Institution AccessBank of Azerbaijan for Micro-, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a financial institution headquartered in London, recently signed an agreement to loan USD 15 million to AccessBank, a microfinance institution in Azerbaijan. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IKEA Foundation Donates $39m to United Nations Development Program’s “Swaayam” Women’s Empowerment Program in India

The IKEA Foundation, a charitable foundation affiliated with Dutch furniture retailer IKEA, recently committed a donation of EUR 30 million (USD 39 million) to Swaayam, a pilot program that aims to boost the social, political and economic empowerment of poor women in India. Swaayam provides women with financial, literacy and leadership education as well as accessing microloans through self-help groups. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) Asks Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to Assist in Recovering Loans Outstanding in Andhra Pradesh

Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), a trade association of 46 Indian microfinance lenders, reportedly has requested that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) intervene on behalf of microlenders attempting to collect INR 7,000 crore (USD 1.36 billion) in loans outstanding in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Lok Capital, Proparco Invest $5m in Equity in India’s IFMR Rural Channels and Services

Lok Capital LLC, a Mauritius-based microfinance investment vehicle, and its Proparco, a French development finance institution, have recently invested INR 260 million (USD 5 million) in equity in the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) Rural Channels and Services, a company of IFMR Trust that provides financial services in rural India. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangladesh Government Declines to Have Muhammad Yunus Recruit New Managing Director of Microfinance Institution Grameen Bank

After a wait of several months, the government of Bangladesh reportedly has vetoed a suggestion made in 2011 by the board of Grameen Bank to task Dr Muhammad Yunus, founder of the bank, with finding a managing director for it. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Wokai Raises $873k for Microfinance Lending in Rural China

Wokai, a US-based online microfinance fundraising platform launched in 2007, has reportedly raised donations totaling CNY 5.5 million (USD 873,000) to be disbursed in loans to approximately 900 people via two Chinese microfinance institutions (MFIs), the Association for Rural Development of Yilong Country (ARDY) in Sichuan and the Chifent Zhaowuda Women’s Sustainable Development Association (CZWSDA) in Inner Mongolia. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Chinese Government Establishes 12 Goals to Improve Local Capital Markets, Access to Finance for Private Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

The Chinese government’s State Council recently identified 12 measures to improve local capital markets, Chinese financial institutions and access to finance for Chinese private enterprises that are small and medium-sized. Continue reading

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