A new law in Kazakhstan reportedly will tighten regulations and enhance transparency in the microfinance sector.
The Social Performance Task Force (SPTF), a working group initiated in 2005 by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), the Argidius Foundation and the Ford Foundation, is seeking submissions for its online Universal Standards Resource Library.
MicroFinance Transparency (MFTransparency), a US-based nongovernmental organization that provides information on microcredit products and their prices, is partnering with Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN), a network of 29 microfinance providers in Pakistan, to publish pricing data on loans offered by microfinance institutions in Pakistan.
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.
The National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) South West Zone, a chapter of Nigerian trade group NAMB, recently hosted a capacity building program on combatting fraud and forgery committed by staff and management of microfinance banks (MFBs).
The African Development Bank (AfDB), a multilateral institution that provides loans and grants to governments and private companies in Africa, recently announced its second call for proposals for the Microfinance Capacity Building Fund (MCBF), which was launched by AfDB and the government of Spain to expand the outreach of the African financial sector.
According to the Global Microscope on the Microfinance Business Environment 2012, a recent report by the UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Peru is the top country in microfinance for the fifth consecutive year due to its strong regulatory environment.
On Friday, November 16 at European Microfinance Week, a conference hosted by the Luxembourg-based European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), Sebastian von Stauffenberg, the CEO of US-based microfinance rating agency MicroRate, said of the larger investment community, “People outside of our microfinance bubble speak another language – if we don’t speak their language, the whole trickle-down effect [of increased investment in microfinance] does not occur.” Mr von Stauffenberg was speaking as part of a panel on microfinance investment that also included Sebastien Juhen of Swiss microfinance investor BlueOrchard Finance, who said that microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs) should work to improve their communication to investors regarding the risks of investing in microfinance including how investment managers address these risks.
At the European Microfinance Week conference today in Luxembourg, representatives of the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) Action Group on the Implementation of Responsible Microfinance led a discussion on its work. The group presented graphics compiling existing social performance tools such as social audits and the publication of pricing data via the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Transparency. One of the suggested steps for microbanks embarking on the process of evaluating its social performance is to make a public commitment through an effort such as the Smart Campaign, which is backed by US-based nonprofit Accion, or the Global Appeal for Responsible Microfinance, which is promoted by a set of institutions led by Oxus Group, an initiative of French NGO Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED).
This morning, following a day of member meetings, the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) opened its eighth European Microfinance Week, which is themed “Combining Strength, Delivering Results” and aims to address the loss of confidence in many circles that microfinance benefits poor people. In the opening plenary session, Sanjay Sinha, managing director of India’s Micro Credit Rating International Limited (M-CRIL), said that, “Moderate growth is good for inclusion. Rampant growth, which is what we had for a long time in India, is a recipe for disaster…. In order to reduce growth, we need to temper the egos of the promoters of microfinance institutions (MFIs). And we all know we need to dampen the expectations of investors – I’m talking mainly of the Indian commercial banking sector.”
Do you know that MicroCapital publishes a monthly newspaper on microfinance? The September MicroCapital Monitor has a dozen pages of news, events and research summaries as well as a report on microfinance networks from development finance expert Barbara Magnoni of EA Consultants. There is no fee to receive the free, abbreviated edition of the Monitor, and we would love to send you a complimentary sample of the paid edition. Just drop us an email or call us at +1 617 648 0043.
The World Bank Group, a US-based institution whose aim is to reduce poverty, recently released a report titled “General Guidelines for the Development of Government Payment Programs” that aims to assist governments and other stakeholders in developing efficient electronic government-payment systems.
MFTransparency, a US-based nongovernmental organization (NGO), recently partnered with Planet Rating, a microfinance rating agency that is a member of the France-based PlaNet Finance Group, and Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), a trade association of microlenders in India.
The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), an autonomous fund that was founded in 1993 by the US-based Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), has made a USD 5 million equity investment in Mexico Development Fund I (MDF-I), a venture capital fund focused on small and medium-sized Mexican businesses providing education, financial or retail services. MDF-I is managed by PC Capital Partners, a financial services firm based in Mexico.
Fortis Microfinance Bank, headquartered in Abuja, Nigeria, has joined the Nigerian Stock Exchange, increasing the exchange’s market capitalization by NGN 8.15 billion (USD 50.8 million).
According to a quote attributed to Fatima Eshimbekova of the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), MFIs in Kyrgyzstan have doubled their aggregate loan portfolio since 2010.
The following text is re-posted with permission from Absolute Portfolio Management.
The microfinance industry has taken big steps forward in the last couple of years to better serve their clients. The Client Protection Principles for microfinance and the accompanying Smart Campaign have been introduced to protect clients, businesses, and the industry as a whole.
Austrian based asset manager Absolute Portfolio Management (APM) offers two “Dual Return – Vision Microfinance” funds, endorses the Smart Campaign and has incorporated the client protection principles into their investment criteria and due diligence. However, APM wanted to double-check how the Principles are employed at the microfinance institutions that the Vision Microfinance funds invest in.
By Lena Giesbert and Susan Steiner, published by Deutsches Institut fur Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW Berlin), 2012, 33 pages, available at: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.394251.de/dp1194.pdf