Category: South Asia, East Asia and Pacific

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Cambodia Institute of Development Study Indicates Microfinance Borrowers Better Off Than Non-Borrowers

The Cambodia Institute of Development Study, a non-governmental research institute based in Phnom Penh, recently released a study indicating that borrowers from microfinance institutions (MFIs) are better off in terms of income, assets and women’s empowerment than are debtors who receive loans from other sources. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Michael and Susan Dell Foundation Takes Equity Stake in India’s BASIX Sub-K Mobile Payments Platform

The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, a US-based nonprofit, has taken an equity stake in BASIX Sub-K iTransactions Limited, the mobile payments unit of BASIX Group, an Indian entity providing services to poor people including microfinance, health insurance and agricultural and business development services [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Acumen Fund Loans $1m to Indian Microfinance Institution Gramalaya Urban and Rural Development Initiatives and Network (GUARDIAN)

Acumen Fund, a US-based nonprofit fund that invests in entrepreneurial approaches to reduce poverty, has made a loan amounting to USD 1 million to Gramalaya Urban and Rural Development Initiatives and Network (GUARDIAN), an Indian microfinance institution (MFI) that focuses on lending to increase access to clean water and sanitation facilities [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Doubles Microfinance Loan Ceiling to USD 6,835, BPI Globe BanKO to Provide Micro-Agri Loans to Farmers in the Philippines

A new microfinance loan category called “microfinance plus” has been approved by the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), raising the overall microloan ceiling from PHP 150,000 (USD 3,417) to PHP 300,000 (USD 6,835). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Preferring Sector-Wide Solution, Reserve Bank of India Refuses to Classify Restructured Loans as Performing Assets for Microfinance Institutions BASIX, Sharada’s Women’s Association for Weaker Section (SWAWS)

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central banking authority, has refused to give a special exemption to commercial banks, that include HDFC Bank, Corporation Bank and Axis Bank, to restructure loans outstanding to microfinance providers BASIX Group and Sharada’s Women’s Association for Weaker Section (SWAWS) Credit Corporation India Private Limited under a classification other than as non-performing assets [1] [2]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: RCBC of the Philippines to Merge JP Laurel Bank into Rizal Microbank by April

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), a development bank based in the Philippines, reportedly is looking to integrate the operations of its microfinance subsidiaries, President Jose Laurel Rural Bank Incorporated (JP Laurel Bank) and Rizal Microbank by April. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Microfinance Institutions Allowed to Raise $10m Each in External Commercial Borrowings

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor Mr H R Khan has announced that Indian microfinance institutions (MFIs) will now be allowed to execute external commercial borrowings (ECB)–those that are raised from outside India–of up to USD 10 million per financial year, twice as much as was previously allowed [1]. Such funds must be “utilised for lending to self-help groups or for micro-credit or for bonafide micro finance activity including capacity building.” [2] The change is intended to address liquidity issues in the industry [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Philippine Central Bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Issues Microinsurance Licenses to Bangko Mabuhay, Mallig Plains Rural Bank

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Philippine central bank, has issued licenses to two rural banks, Bangko Mabuhay and Mallig Plains Rural Bank Incorporated, allowing them to provide microinsurance services [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Philippine BPI Globe BanKo Issues $45m in Wholesale Loans to Microfinance Institutions, Expands Agent Network to Boost Retail Business

BPI Globe BanKo, a mobile-based savings bank affiliated with the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), reportedly has extended PHP 2 billion (USD 45.3 million) in loans to unspecified Philippine microfinance institutions. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian NGO Gramalaya Creates Microfinance Institution Gramalaya Microfin Foundation

Gramalaya, an Indian nongovernmental organization (NGO), has launched a new microfinance institution (MFI), Gramalaya Microfin Foundation (GMF) that aims to “eradicate poverty through livelihood promotion activities through increased access to financial services” [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Dr Muhammad Yunus to Seek Court Review of His Removal as Managing Director of Bangladeshi Microfinance Institution Grameen Bank

Nobel laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus reportedly has sought a review of the court decision that upheld his removal from his position as managing director of Bangladeshi microfinance institution (MFI) Grameen Bank. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: State Bank of Pakistan Releases Five-Year “Microfinance Strategic Framework,” Launches Financial Literacy Programme

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Pakistan’s central bank, recently announced that it has developed a detailed strategy to promote the sustainable growth of microfinance as outlined in its “Microfinance Strategic Framework 2011-2015” that is intended to “foster a pro-poor and sustainable development of the country” [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen-Jameel Achieves 1.5m Microfinance Clients Reached, $53m Facilitated

Grameen-Jameel, a joint venture of the US-based Grameen Foundation and the UK-based Abdul Latif Jameel Foundation, recently announced in its first “partners’ meeting” that it has reached 1.5 million clients through its partner microfinance institutions (MFIs) [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Microfinance Institutions Shift from Lending Mostly to Women Towards Relatively Gender-Balanced Portfolio, Reports Elena Bridgers in Stanford Social Innovation Review

Elena Bridgers, a social researcher based in France, recently authored an article on the website of the US-based Stanford Social Innovation Review exploring the shift of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in India from a primarily “female client base” to a more “gender-balanced portfolio” [1]. Continue reading

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