The government of Kenya recently passed legislation to cap the interest rates on bank loans at 4 percent per year above an undisclosed benchmark reference rate and also set the minimum deposit interest rate at 70 percent of the reference rate.
The Microcred Group, a for-profit microfinance company operating under the umbrella of French NGO Positive Planet, recently started the operations of its new subsidiary in Ouagadougou. During the first 20 days, customers opened 1,260 accounts, mobilizing CFA 40 million (USD 68,000) in deposits.
Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB), a private-sector Indian bank, recently announced plans to acquire BSS Microfinance, a Karnataka-based non-banking financial company run by the Bharatha Swamukthi Samsthe (BSS) Trust, for INR 1.4 billion (USD 21 million)
Successive interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) since 2015 have led to decreasing cost of funds for microfinance institutions (MFI) and a reduction in lending rates to end customers.
The National Microfinance Bank (NMB), an institution backed by the government of Tanzania, recently announced that it has listed TZS 41.4 billion (USD 18.8 million) in three-year retail bonds on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE), the listing surpassed its initial retail bond target by 107 percent.
Bandhan Microfinance, a microfinance institution (MFI) based in Kolkata, India, has applied for a banking license to convert to a commercial bank, which reportedly will reduce costs, reduce interest rates on loans and increase the number of clients . The current interest rate on loans that Bandhan offers is 22 percent; as a commercial bank it can potentially offer rates as low as 12 percent because it can fund loans from deposits, thus reducing its dependence on borrowing costly funds from other banks .