MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Allows Non-banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) to Work as Agents for Banks

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), a government agency charged with overseeing the Indian financial sector, has revised its regulations to permit non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) that do not accept deposits to act as business correspondents for Indian banks, providing limited financial services to clients in unbanked areas. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Econet Wireless Accused of Monopolistic Practices Regarding Mobile Money Service

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of the South Africa-based telecommunications company Econet Wireless Group, reportedly is being investigated by Zimbabwe’s Competitions and Tariffs Commission (CTC), the authority charged with regulating trade in the country, over allegations of monopolistic business practices [1][2]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Pakistan-based Microfinance Institution (MFI) Wasil Foundation Wins $100k Islamic Microfinance Challenge 2014

The Wasil Foundation (Wasil), a nonprofit that aims to alleviate poverty through enterprise development in Pakistan, has won the 2014 Islamic Microfinance Challenge, a competition that promotes Sharia-compliant microfinance products, which prohibit interest payments in keeping with Islamic practices. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Revises Reporting Requirements, Other Guidelines for Banks’ Microfinance Operations

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, has expanded the amount of reporting that banks must perform regarding their microfinance operations with the aim of helping BSP create “evidence-based policies that are responsive to the needs of the market” [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), International Cooperation and Development Fund of Taiwan (TaiwanICDF) Loan Tunisie Leasing $14m to Fund Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Tunisia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in London, and the International Cooperation and Development Fund of Taiwan (TaiwanICDF), the principal body that oversees Taiwan’s overseas development programs, have jointly disbursed a loan of EUR 10 million (USD 13.7 million) to Tunisie Leasing, a financial institution that offers leasing services in Tunisia and Algeria. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Likely to Loan Mongolian XacBank $5m for On-lending to Micro‑, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs); $10m for Sustainable Energy

The London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is considering disbursing a local-currency loan equivalent to USD 5 million to XacBank, a lender to micro-, small and medium-sized businesses in Mongolia. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Commits $15m to Private Equity Fund EuroMena III to Support Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Middle East, North Africa

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the World Bank Group, reportedly has committed USD 15 million to EuroMena III, a 7-year closed-end private equity fund that aims to invest in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India Simplifies “Know Your Customer” Requirement for Establishing Bank Accounts

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central banking authority, has announced that it has simplified the “Know Your Customer” (KYC) process that it requires commercial banks in India to undertake before opening bank accounts for individuals. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Homeless International Purchases T24 MCB Banking Software from Temenos

Homeless International, a UK-based nonprofit housing consultancy and finance agency that focuses on reducing urban poverty in Africa and Asia, has purchased T24 MCB, a cloud-based core banking software platform that was developed for the microfinance and community banking (MCB) segment by Temenos Group AG, a software company based in Switzerland. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: National Social Security Authority (NSSA) of Zimbabwe Losing License for Capital Bank, Seeks to Establish Microfinance Institution (MFI)

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the authority that supervises the financial sector and formulates monetary policy in Zimbabwe, reportedly has canceled the operating license of Capital Bank Corporation Limited (Capital Bank), a financial institution in Zimbabwe that offers corporate banking, wealth management, trade finance and financial advisory services, due to insufficient liquidity. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Industrial Development Bank of India Federal Life Insurance Launches Seven Individual, Group Plans

Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) Federal Life Insurance, a joint venture of the government-backed IDBI, the commercial Federal Bank of India, and Belgian insurer Ageas, has launched four individual and three group insurance plans in India. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FINCA International Raises $30m in Debt in Nine Local Currencies to Support Financial Inclusion of Microentrepreneuers

The Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA International), a US-based nonprofit microfinance network, has announced that it has raised debt funding equivalent to USD 30 million in nine local currencies to support the financial inclusion of low-income microentrepreneurs through its Local Currency Microfinance Note III [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: BNP Paribas, Orange to Allow Money Transfers Between Bank Accounts, Mobile Money Accounts in Cote D’Ivoire

BNP Paribas, a France-based financial services provider with operations in 84 countries, and Orange, a French telephone and Internet service provider, have announced that their customers in Cote D’Ivoire will now be able to transfer money between their bank accounts and their accounts with Orange Money, Orange’s mobile money service. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Absolute Portfolio Management’s Vision Microfinance Funds Loan $9.4m to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Armenia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Peru, Sri Lanka, Tanzania

Absolute Portfolio Management (APM), an arm of Austria-based asset group C-Quadrat, recently informed MicroCapital that it has distributed credits worth approximately USD 9.4 million through its two Vision Microfinance funds to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Armenia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Peru, Sri Lanka and Tanzania. Continue reading