MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Unfixes Microloan Interest Rate Cap to Vary Based on Cost of Funding

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, has announced that as of April 1, 2014, it will remove the 26-percent interest rate cap established in 2011 on all microloans extended by microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Microcredit Interest Rate Determinants; Mobile Phones and Microinsurance; Health Financing Through Gifts and Remittances in Kenya

“Microcredit Interest Rates and Their Determinants 2004-2011;” by Richard Rosenberg, Scott Gaul, William Ford and Olga Tomilova; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); June 2013; 32 pages; available at http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/Forum-Microcredit-Interest-Rates-and-Their-Determinants-June-2013_1.pdf

This study explores the factors affecting the determination of interest rates that microfinance institutions (MFIs) charge their customers by analyzing financial data reported from 2004 to 2011 by MFIs to the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), a US-based nonprofit data provider.

SPECIAL REPORT: Why Microfinance Institutions Offer Unprofitable Housing Loans

On November 14, the closing day of the European Microfinance Platform’s (e-MFP’s) European Microfinance Week, Wilson Twamuhabwa, CEO of Uganda’s Ugafode Microfinance Limited, explained that his organization began to offer housing loan products partly because its clients were using 30 percent of their loans for housing anyway.

SPECIAL REPORT: “Making Microfinance Investment Responsible” Group Wrestles with Inconsistent Data Reporting at European Microfinance Week

On this first day of European Microfinance Week, which is hosted by the 140-member European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) of Luxembourg, e-MFP’s “Making Microfinance Investment Responsible” Action Group convened to work on the data it has collected on client protection from 10 microfinance investors, rating agencies and NGOs.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Companies in Ghana Allegedly “Reaping Heavily” from Small Businesses via High Interest Rates

Microfinance companies in Ghana reportedly are “reaping heavily” from high interest rates charged to consumers, who are often unaware of the flat-rate interest calculation method used by most microfinance companies that forces borrowers to pay interest on the initial loan amount rather than on their remaining balance.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: $34m in Loans Provided by Development Bank of Jamaica to Micro-, Small and Medium-Sized Business Created 3,324 Jobs over 5 Years

Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), a Jamaican state-owned bank, reportedly has created 3,324 jobs over the past five years through its loan program for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria Launches $1.3b Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s central banking authority, reportedly has launched a NGN 220 billion (USD 1.3 billion) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Fund, which is intended to offer loans to microfinance institutions (MFIs) at an interest rate of 9 percent or less per year [1].

MICROFINANCE EVENT: No-Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) New South Wales (NSW) Conference 2013, October 22-23, 2013, Sydney, Australia

Event Name: No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) New South Wales (NSW) Conference 2013

Event Date: October 22-23, 2013

Event Location: Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh (Redfern), Sydney, Australia

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nepal’s Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) See 21% Growth in Profit During 2013-2014 Amidst Concerns over High Interest Rates Charged to Borrowers

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Nepal reportedly are experiencing a period of growth that some say can be attributed to high interest rates charged to borrowers.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India Raises Interest Margin Cap to 12% for Larger Microfinance Institutions

For non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and microfinance institutions (MFIs) of all sizes, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking institution, recently set the margin cap, the difference between the amount charged to the borrower and the institution’s cost of funds at 12 percent at least until April 1, 2014 [1].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Caspian Advisors Launches $40m Caspian Impact Investments (CII) Fund for Microfinance, Affordable Housing, Agriculture

Caspian Advisors Private Ltd., an Indian investment management and advisory services company specializing in the socially-responsible arena, recently launched the Caspian Impact Investments (CII) fund, which is targeted to raise USD 40 million for projects in the areas of microfinance, small business financing, affordable housing and agriculture.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Tanzania (BOT) Licenses Dunn & Bradstreet, CreditInfo Tanzania as Credit Bureaus

The Bank of Tanzania (BOT), the country’s banking authority, reportedly has approved licenses for CreditInfo Tanzania and Dunn & Bradstreet Tanzania, two privately-owned credit reference bureaus, to act as credit bureaus in Tanzania. 

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.

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) of Bangladesh Plans to Lower 27% Microcredit Interest Rate Cap

The Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA), a Bangladeshi government body that oversees the operations of NGO microfinance institutions (MFIs), reportedly has announced plans to cut the maximum interest rate MFIs are allowed to charge to an unspecified level.