Category: Trends/Challenges

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Share, Spandana Sphoorty, Asmitha Consider Merger, Continue Debt Restructuring Talks

As part of their ongoing efforts to manage significant losses in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Indian microfinance institutions (MFIs) Share Microfin Limited, Spandana Sphoorty Financial Limited and Asmitha Microfin Limited reportedly are in the early stages of considering the possibility of merging with one another. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Survey: Nigeria Falls Behind South Africa, Kenya, Botswana in Financial Access

The “Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2010 Survey” conducted by Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA), a nonprofit financial sector development organization funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the US-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, indicates that Nigeria lags behind South Africa, Botswana and Kenya in access to finance. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Commercial Banks, Private Equity Investors Reevaluate India’s Microfinance Sector in Light of Draft Microfinance Bill

Since the Indian government released a draft microfinance bill in July 2011, commercial banks and private equity investors reportedly have expressed a new willingness to consider investing in microfinance institutions (MFIs). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Jonathan Lewis Describes Opportunity Collaboration as Addressing Poverty by “Doing the Opposite of What Most Other Conferences Do”

Forbes, a US-based magazine, recently published an interview with Jonathan Lewis, founder and chief executive officer of the annual Opportunity Collaboration business retreat and networking summit that he describes as “laser-focused on poverty reduction”. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: The Philippines Mobile Banking Market Handles $10b in Transactions

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, reportedly has indicated that the number of mobile banking transactions in the country has reached an aggregate of 150 million, totaling PHP 440 billion (USD 10.4 billion) through December 2010. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Pakistan-Based Islamic Microfinance Network (IMFN) Recruiting Members

Islamic Microfinance Network (IMFN), a Pakistan-based nonprofit organization that aims to promote Islamic microfinance worldwide, recently announced the opening of its membership to both national and international organizations that work in Islamic microfinance [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Industry Players Say Indian Microfinance Institutions Should Not be Crushed Even Though “Some MFIs Have Gone on the Wrong Path”

The Times of India, an Indian newspaper, recently reported on microfinance industry actors arguing that microfinance institutions (MFIs) should not be compromised by “the greed of a few big MFIs” and associated regulations such as the Andhra Pradesh Microfinance Act, which was passed in December 2010 to regulate MFIs following multiple suicides. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Microfinance Institution Satin Creditcare Reports $22m in Capital Raises, Securitizations; Upgraded by CARE Ratings to “MFI 2”

Satin Creditcare Network Limited (Satin), a microfinance institution (MFI) headquartered in Delhi, recently announced that it received an upgraded credit rating from India-based CARE Ratings following a fundraising streak totaling INR 1 billion (USD 22.3 million). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Microfinance Institution Bhartiya Samruddhi Finance Limited (BSFL) Raises $150m from Institutional Investors, Commercial Banks

Bhartiya Samruddhi Finance Limited (BSFL), an Indian microfinance institution (MFI) and member of the BASIX Group of companies, has reportedly raised INR 7 billion (USD 150 million) in debt and equity commitments from institutional investors and commercial banks, in what has been described as a “lifeline” by BASIX chairman Vijay Mahajan. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: South Africa’s National Treasury Releases Policy Document, “The South African Microinsurance Regulatory Framework,” to Address Access to Insurance, Consumer Protection for Low-Income Households

In a recent press release, the National Treasury of the Republic of South Africa, the body responsible for managing government finances, released a policy document titled, “The South African Microinsurance Regulatory Framework,” to address the “challenges to improve access to insurance and consumer protection for the lower income families in the country” [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Articles From UK’s The Guardian, Nigeria’s Business Daily Online Praise Potential of Mobile Banking, Microfinance Across Africa

According to a recent story published by The Guardian, a British newspaper, the African continent is now home to more than 500 million mobile phones and is experiencing a wave of innovation in the field of mobile banking. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Hold Workshop on “Equator Principles” for Thai Banks Regarding Environmental and Social Risk Management

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the World Bank Group, recently announced it is supporting the Thai Bankers’ Association to help its members better manage environmental and social risks in lending operations and improve the sustainability of financed projects rather than the sustainability of lending services. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Economist Angela Luci Argues Microfinance can Empower Women in Non-Financial Arenas, Fight Discrimination

A recent entry on the Gender Debate blog cites the report “Microfinance: Champion in Poverty Alleviation and Failure in Female Empowerment” by Alexandra Dobra to argue that most microfinance services only focus on the financial empowerment of women, wasting their potential to promote the “full and equal participation of women in all spheres of society including decision-making and access to power” [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Boston Consulting Group Publishes “Socio-Economic Impact of Mobile Financial Services” for Telenor, Exploring Effects of Mobile Financial Services in Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Serbia Over the Next Decade

Boston Consulting Group, a US-based management consulting firm, recently released a study it conducted for Telenor Group, a Norwegian communications service provider with operations in 11 European and Asian markets, looking at what effect mobile financial services may have through the year 2020 [1]. Continue reading

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