MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nepal Rastra Bank, Rural Microfinance Development Center, Center for Microfinance Nepal Urge Microlenders to Lower Interest Rates, Focus on “Deprived” Sectors

Representatives of the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the country’s central bank; the Rural Microfinance Development Center (RMDC), an organization owned by Nepalese lenders that provides wholesale loans to microfinance institutions (MFIs); and the Center for Microfinance (CMF) Nepal, a nonprofit network dedicated to promoting the country’s microfinance industry, reportedly have urged MFIs to lower microloan interest rates, claiming that a desire for greater profits is hindering financial inclusion. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: SKS Microfinance May Challenge Andhra Pradesh Ruling in Supreme Court

In response to the February 2013 ruling from the High Court of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh that upheld the Andhra Pradesh Microfinance Institution Act, 2010, SKS Microfinance, an Indian for-profit microfinance institution, and other unspecified microlenders reportedly may challenge the decision in the Country’s Supreme Court. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Microfinance at The Margin: Evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina”; by Ralph De Haas, Heike Harmgart, Britta Augsburg and Costas Meghir; published by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

By Ralph De Haas, Heike Harmgart, Britta Augsburg and Costas Meghir, published by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, November 2012, 8 pages, available at: http://www.ebrd.com/downloads/research/economics/publications/specials/bosnia_mircofinance.pdf

This report from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) describes a randomized field experiment in Bosnia and Herzegovina analyzing the effects that a lack of credit may have on entrepreneurship and poverty. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CAF Development Bank of Latin America, Codespa Foundation Study Possible Trust Fund for Rural Producers in Ecuador

CAF Development Bank of Latin America, a Venezuela-based multilateral financial institution that was formerly Corporacion Andino de Fomento, is partnering with Codespa Foundation, a Spanish non-governmental organization that works with poor communities in developing countries, to undertake a feasibility study for the creation of a trust fund that would provide microfinance services to small-scale producers in rural Ecuador. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Silatech, American Refugee Committee (ARC), Kaah Express to Offer Microfinance in Somalia

Qatar-based Silatech, a social enterprise that seeks to promote youth entrepreneurship and employment in the Arab world, and the American Refugee Committee (ARC), a US-based nonprofit that provides humanitarian assistance in Haiti, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, are partnering with Kaah Express, a US-based for-profit money transfer company, to introduce a new microfinance program in Somalia.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nigerian State of Borno to Pilot National Financial Inclusion Initiative Via Post Offices

The federal government of Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the government of the Nigerian state of Borno and several other organizations reportedly have launched a financial inclusion initiative that will provide financial services to the un-banked at post offices. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) May Consider Raising Margin Cap on Microloans if MFIs Relinquish Priority-Sector Status

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, reportedly has refused to remove the 26-percent interest rate cap on loans disbursed by microfinance institutions (MFIs) or to alter margin caps for individual loans to borrowers, despite opposition from within the sector. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Minsk Transit Bank, Belgazprombank of Belarus Access $50m Facility for SME Energy Efficiency From European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ERBD)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ERBD), a UK-based multilateral institution, recently launched a facility in Belarus to provide a total of up to USD 50 million in loans intended to fund investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microlenders Affiliated with India’s Microfinance Institutions Network Boost Loan Disbursals by 22%, Gross Loan Portfolio by 9.2% from Previous Quarter

According to the Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), an association of Indian microfinance institutions (MFIs), 41 of its 47 member MFIs disbursed loans totaling INR 61.9 billion (USD 1.1 billion) in the October-December quarter of 2012, an increase of approximately 22 percent from the INR 50.9 billion (USD 926 million) during the previous quarter. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) Donates $360k to Fundacion para el Desarrollo Socioeconomico Rural (FUNDESER) of Nicaragua to Support Transition to Regulated Status Under SIBOIF

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the US-based IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) Group, recently disbursed a grant of USD 362,000 to Nicaraguan nonprofit microfinance organization Fundacion para el Desarrollo Socioeconomico Rural (FUNDESER) to support the microlender in the process of becoming regulated by the country’s Superintendency of Banks and Other Financial Institutions, which is known by the Spanish acronym SIBOIF. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Social Security System (SSS) of the Philippines Extends Services through Partnership with the Center of Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Bank

The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Bank, a non-governmental organization that provides lending and voluntary savings for poor and landless women in the Philippines, reportedly has partnered with the Social Security System (SSS) of the Philippines, a government-run social insurance program that provides retirement and health benefits, in an effort to extend the program’s outreach to workers in the Philippines’ informal sector. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Microinsurance Product Development for Microinsurance Providers;” by Michael J. McCord; published by Microfinance Centre, Microinsurance Centre, International Fund for Agricultural Development

By Michael J. McCord; published by the Microfinance Centre for Central and Eastern Europe and the New Independent States, the Microinsurance Centre and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); 2012; 124 pages; available at: http://www.ifad.org/ruralfinance/wrmf/manual.pdf

In this manual, Mr. McCord proposes a “systematic new-product development process” for the microinsurance market. Continue reading