MICROFINANCE EVENT: Global Summit on Microfinance as an Alternate Asset Class for Institutional Investors

GLOBAL SUMMIT ON MICROFINANCE AS AN ALTERNATIVE ASSET CLASS FOR INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS

OCTOBER 29-30, MILLENIUM KNIGHTSBRIDGE HOTEL, LONDON, ENGLAND

The conference will focus on the opportunities and challenges for microfinance investments as the industry becomes larger and converges with mainstream financial institutions. Specific topics will include the current state of the microfinance sector, the risks and rewards for institutional investors involved in microfinance, an evaluation of rating metrics currently employed, lessons and opportunities taken from other asset classes, good governance in microfinance institutions (MFIs), and developing a universal framework for evaluating social returns. A complete agenda can be found of the conference website. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Globe Telecom Philippines Joins with Microfinance Providers in the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) to Supply Mobile Banking Services to the Rural Poor

The Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) and Globe Telecom Inc, the Philippines’ second largest telecommunications provider, have partnered to extend mobile banking services to rural banks, allowing their customers to conduct transactions using mobile phones. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: ACCION International Hires Ascendant Strategy Management Group to Develop Performance Metrics

ACCION International has hired Ascendant Strategy Management Group to develop performance metrics for ACCION managers. The system will be based on Ascendant’s “balanced scorecard” framework, the name for its general consulting package that it tailors to individual clients. Further specifics, including which areas of ACCION will be employing the new measurements, was not available, although it appears that ACCION’s Center for Financial Inclusion will be involved. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Partners with DFID in Diversifying Agrocredit and Extending Access to Microfinance in Rural Regions

Dr Shamshad Akhtar, Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has announced an increase in the credit disbursement target for the country’s agricultural sector to Rs250 billion; up from Rs200 billion in the 2007- 08 year. Pakistan’s agricultural sector has been experiencing a high volume of growth, and as such is seeing an increased demand for credit. This past year banks surpassed the 2007 -08 credit target of Rs200 billion by Rs12 billion. This higher demand for credit is also characterized by an increased diversity in the funds. The non-farm sector of agriculture made up 25 percent of credit disbursements in 2008 and credit to less developed rural provinces has also been growing during the past couple of years. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: India’s Stricter Capital Norms may Prompt more Efficient Financial Structures for Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

India’s present growth rate for its microfinance sector has been recorded at 130 percent, with prospects of continued growth and increased demand in coming years. Microfinance Institutions (MFI) in India have been responsible for Rs 10,000 crore (approx. USD 2.23 billion) in loans to low-income individuals and small businesses. Currently a sector consisting of about 135 MFI’s throughout the country, the government of India has begun introducing tighter norms for the capital adequacy ratios (CAR) of its microfinance lenders, which are expected to be enacted within the coming year. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Jamaica National Small Business Loans (JNSML) Aids in the Expansion of Small Businesses in Jamaica through Microfinance.

Jamaica is experiencing an economic turnaround from its past financial problems. After almost a decade of stagnation, Jamaica’s economy is showing signs of revival. Growth briefly resumed in the country before being hampered somewhat by the external shocks of hurricanes Dean (2007) and Gustav (2008). GDP increased by 1.5% from 2004 to 2006, and inflation has also been steadily decreasing since. Although the natural disasters shocked large parts of the economy, especially in agriculture, the country still shows signs of a progressive economic trend. A number of additional factors, both external and within Jamaica’s private sector and institutions not only contribute to its growing economy, they also form an environment that is very conducive to the creation of small enterprises. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: African Microfinance Investor Fair in Dakar on October 15-16

AFRICAN MICROFINANCE INVESTOR’S FAIR

OCTOBER 15-16, 2008, HOTEL SOFITEL TERANGA, DAKAR, SENEGAL

African Microfinance Transparency (AMT) has organized an African Microfinance Investor’s Fair in Dakar. The purpose of this fair is to bring together rated African microfinance institutions (MFIs) that are in search of funding sources and investors that are offering funding and other such resources to MFIs, be it in local or foreign currency. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: A Little World (ALW) of India Closes Series of Financing Totaling $6.3m from Investors including the Bellwether Microfinance Fund, the India Financial Inclusion Fund and Legatum Ventures

A Little World, a technology company based in Mumbia, India, recently finished a round of funding which brought in INR 287m (USD 6.3m). The investors included the Bellwether Microfinance Fund, the India Financial Inclusion Fund and Legatum Ventures. The investments, which were facilitated by Intellecap, are intended to help build ALW’s product portfolio. ALW focuses on using banking technologies to provide low cost financial services to those at the bottom of the economic period. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: USAID to Host Online Discussion on Outsourcing Options for Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

MICROLINKS HOSTS ONLINE DISCUSSION, OUTSOURCING FOR MFIS
SEPTEMBER 16-18

The microLINKS Speaker’s Corner on Savings will host an online discussion called “Outsourcing Options for Microfinance Institutions”. Hosted by Alice Liu of Emerging ICT Group, this Speaker’s Corner will focus on the benefits and challenges related to outsourcing and the lessons that may be learned from small bank experiences in the US and other areas where outsourcing is more common.

Each day, participants are invited to share their perspectives and experiences on following topics:

• Day 1 (September 16) – Outsourcing: Benefits and Decision Criteria
• Day 2 (September 17) – Core Banking System Experiences from the Field
• Day 3 (September 18) – Enabling Environment

To learn more about this discussion, visit the event website here.

MICROCAPITAL STORY: In Asia, Newly defined Poverty Lines Reveal Higher Numbers of People in Poverty, Risks To Millennium Development Goals And Growing Microfinance Opportunities

The World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) both released studies recently that offer new definitions of international poverty. The original “$1-a-day Poverty Line” is a global poverty line for absolute poverty that was set by the World Bank in 1990, and is adjusted for various purchasing power parities (PPP). PPPs are conversion factors that ensure a common purchasing power over a given set of goods and services. People living at or below these poverty lines are said to be in extreme poverty. Continue reading