Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s IFMR Capital Pools Loan Assets from 8 Microfinance Institutions, For Trading on Bombay Stock Exchange

IFMR Capital, an affiliate of the Indian nonprofit Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR), a private trust that aims to provide Indian enterprises with access to financial services, recently listed a securitized debt instrument on the Bombay Stock Exchange that pooled loan assets from eight microfinance institutions (MFIs). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Thai Government to Add $2.6b to Village and Urban Revolving Fund

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra reportedly has announced that the government plans to inject USD 2.6 billion of capital into the country’s Village and Urban Revolving Fund (VF), a government-backed program designed to stimulate the economy. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Advans SA Launches Microfinance Institution in Pakistan

Advans SA SICAR (Advans SA), a microfinance investment vehicle managed by Horus Development Finance of France, recently announced the opening of Advans Pakistan Microfinance Bank (MFB) in Karachi, Pakistan. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Government of Myanmar Announces Microfinance to be Key Element of Development Plans

President U Thein Sein of Myanmar reportedly has prioritized the creation of microfinance banks in an effort to increase private investment and alleviate poverty in the country. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Securing the Silent: Microinsurance in India: The Story So Far” by Premasis Mukherjee, Rosalind Piggot and Sunil Bhat; published by MicroSave

By Premasis Mukherjee, Rosalind Piggot and Sunil Bhat; published by MicroSave; December 2012; 63 pages; available at: http://www.microsave.org/sites/default/files/research_papers/Securing_the_Silent_MI_Report.pdf

This paper examines the microinsurance industry in India, specifically the industry for life and health microinsurance. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Singapore’s Tagit, Vietnam’s Smartlink Launch Mobile Banking Service in Vietnam

Tagit, a Singaporean mobile technology company, reportedly has partnered with Vietnamese mobile payment provider Smartlink to launch a mobile banking service that will link the customers of 51 financial institutions and insurance providers. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) Relaxes Paperwork Requirements for Microinsurance Customers

Out of concern that the policy has hindered financial inclusion, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), India’s insurance regulator, will no longer require written confirmation from banks as proof of residence from those seeking to purchase microinsurance products. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: LOLC Microcredit Limited of Sri Lanka Receives $55m Syndicated Loan Funds from FMO, OPEC Fund for International Development, PROPARCO, Cordiant Capital

Lanka Orix Leasing Company (LOLC) Micro Credit Limited, the microfinance arm of Sri Lankan financial service provider LOLC, has received a five-year syndicated loan of USD 55.5 million. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited Offers Microfinance Loans, Training

The Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited (BOCHK), a commercial banking group in Hong Kong, recently launched its “Microfinance Scheme,” which provides training and loans to “people who wish to start their own business, become self-employed or achieve self-enhancement through training, skills upgrading or obtaining professional qualifications” [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Maruhan Japan Bank Acquires Equity Stake in Microfinance Institution Sathapana Limited of Cambodia

Maruhan Japan Bank, a Japanese financial institution with assets of USD 123 million as of 2011, recently has completed the acquisition of a stake in Sathapana Limited, a Cambodian microfinance institution (MFI). Continue reading

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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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