RBL Bank Limited, an institution formerly known as Ratnakar Bank Limited (RBL) that is headquartered in the Indian state of Maharashtra, recently announced its plan to buy a 9.99-percent stake in Utkarsh Micro Finance, a non-banking financial institution based in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based, nonprofit research center that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access, and the Citi Foundation, the charitable arm of US-based financial services firm Citigroup, recently launched the “East Asia Digital Financial Inclusion Program”.
Event Name: 12th International Microinsurance Conference
Event Date: November 15-17, 2016
Event Location: Cinnamon Grand Hotel, 77, Galle Road; Colombo 03, Sri Lanka
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) recently announced plans to bring all non-deposit taking microfinance institutions (MFIs) and related nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) under the non-banking finance company (NBFC) framework in an effort to improve the regulation and monitoring of their activities.
The Australian government; the Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) Bank, a publicly traded commercial bank; and the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP), a Fiji-based initiative of the United Nations that attempts to extend financial services to unbanked Pacific Islanders, recently started a program with a budget of SBD 5 million (USD 650,000) to connect rural coconut oil producers, laborers, buyers and transport operators in the Solomon Islands with digital financial services.
Event Name: Inclusive Finance India Summit 2016
Event Date: December 5-6, 2016
Event Location: The Ashok Hotel, 50-B, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri; New Delhi, Delhi 110021, India
Nandan Nilekani, Co-founder of Infosys Limited; Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons; Vijay Kelkar, Chairman of India’s National Institute of Public Finance and Policy; and R. Venkataramanan, Managing Trustee of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, recently announced the launch of Avanti Finance, “a technology enabled financial inclusion vehicle.”
The Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) Investment Managers, a unit of India-based IFMR Trust Group providing investment management services in asset classes that impact the financially excluded, is seeking to raise INR 1 billion (USD 15 million) for a debt fund called IFMR FImpact Medium Term Microfinance Fund to invest exclusively in microfinance firms.
Suryoday Micro Finance Private Limited , a non-banking finance company providing microfinance services in India, recently raised INR 1 billion (USD 15 million) from investors including the Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC) Bank; ASK Pravi; the Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Standard Life Insurance; Arpwood Investment Advisors; Kiran Vyapar, the investment arm of LN Bangur Group; Polaris Banyan Holding and Dr. Aravind Srinivasan .
Telenor Pakistan, a subsidiary of Norway-based telecom provider Telenor Group, recently bought additional shares of the Tameer Microfinance Bank, a Pakistan-based provider of microfinance services, increasing its stake from 51 percent to 100 percent.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a development finance institution backed by the US government, recently committed to investing up to USD 200 million in equity in Leapfrog Investments, a for-profit private equity fund based in Mauritius.
Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch development bank, recently served as lead arranger and facility agent to finalize a USD 153 million senior secured syndicated loan for Sri Lanka’s Commercial Leasing & Finance (CLC).
“Current Trends in International Funding for Financial Inclusion;” by M. Soursourian, E. Dashi and E. Dokle; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); December 2015; 4 pages; available at: http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/Brief-Current-Trends-in-International-Funding-Dec-2015.pdf
Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, recently authorized micro-banking offices (MBOs) of financial institutions to extend the range of “allowable activities”  with the aim of increasing financial inclusion in the rural parts of the country.
Symbiotics Group, a Swiss for-profit provider of investment and business services, recently issued the second tranche of a bond totaling USD 5.5 million to Prasac, a Cambodian microfinance institution (MFI).
The Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund, a Myanmar-based multi-donor trust fund, recently has donated a three-year USD 4.5 million grant to three organizations affiliated with US-based NGO World Vision, to aid approximately 100,000 people in gaining improved access to financial services.
SKS Microfinance Limited, a for-profit microfinance institution (MFI) headquartered in Hyderabad, India, recently partnered with IBM MobileFirst, the mobile division of US-based information technology company International Business Machines (IBM), in an effort to improve staff productivity in acquiring customers, completing loan disbursements and collecting repayments .
“Global Financial Development Report 2015/2016,” published by the World Bank, September 2015, 211 pages, available at http://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/gfdr/report