Archive for the ‘Featured News’ Category

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Indian Budget: Microfinance fund allocation doubled to INR 4,000M

By Nagesh Narayana Microfinance Focus, Feb 26, 2010: Presenting the Union Budget 2010-11 to parliament on Friday, India's Finance Minister has reiterated the UPA government's commitment to expanding financial inclusion and expanding the microfinance programmes, by doubling allocation to Micro-Finance Development and Equity Fund to Rs. 400 crore (INR 4,000 million). He has also increased allocation by Rs 100 crore (INR 1,000 million) each to the Financial ... Full story

BASEL releases guidance for effective Banking Supervision to microfinance activities

BASEL releases guidance for effective Banking Supervision to microfinance activities
Microfinance Focus, Feb 21, 2010: The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has issued for consultation a report that contains the guidance for the application of the Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision (BCP) to microfinance activities, and the range of practices on regulating and supervising microfinance activities, according to an official press release. The guidance ... Full story

Regulate Microfinance institutions based on activity, not legal form: Mathew Titus of SA-Dhan

By Ramesh Kumar Microfinance Focus, Feb 18, 2010/New Delhi : Mathew Titus, Executive Director of Sa-Dhan shares his vision and concerns about microfinance in an exclusive interview with Microfinance Focus Consulting Editor Ramesh Kumar. Here are excerpts: Microfinance Focus: Microfinance in its current form is more than 30 years old. How has been its journey in India so far? Mathew Titus: Growth continues to be good. Organizations in ... Full story

Crisis could trap 21 million people in extreme poverty in Asia Pacific: UN,ADB Report

Microfinance Focus, Feb 17, 2010: A joint report by the United Nations and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), “Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in an Era of Global Uncertainty: Asia- Pacific Regional Report 2009/10”, examines the toll that the global economic crisis has taken on progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the Asia-Pacific region.  The global economic crisis could fence in an ... Full story

MasterCard Foundation, EGF to provide $4.6M for Kenyan students

Microfinance Focus, Feb 9, 2010: The MasterCard Foundation and the Equity Group Foundation (EGF) have launched a program that will provide $4.6 million in educational support to 676 secondary students in Kenya over the next five years. Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation, and EGF Chairman Dr. James Mwangi announced the partnership at an event in Nairobi on Monday, presided by Kenyan Prime ... Full story

EBRD’s €50 million loan to Garanti Bank to help women, small businesses

Microfinance Focus, Feb 8, 2010: In November, the EBRD teamed up with the Netherlands Development Finance Company, the International Co-operation and Development Fund (ICDF) and five commercial banks to lend €50 million to Garanti Bank. The financing will be available for investments in small companies operating outside the three main Turkish cities of Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir. Garanti Bank is one of two Turkish banks that ... Full story

Zidisha set to ‘expand’ in Peer-to-peer Microfinance: Julia Kurnia

Zidisha set to 'expand' in Peer-to-peer Microfinance: Julia Kurnia
By Asma Aziz Microfinance Focus, Feb. 7, 2010: Incorporated as a peer-to-peer lending service, which allows a direct transaction between lenders and borrowers, without any intermediaries, Zidisha is all set to scale P2P fundraising to newer heights. With a Swahili name implying ‘expand’, the organization connects low income entrepreneurs of developing nations to lenders across the globe ... Full story

RESEARCH: Mobile Banking will accelerate microfinance mission

By Martina Rani Microfinance Focus, Feb. 7, 2010: The developing countries strive to give financial access to the poor and vulnerable groups for poverty reduction and social cohesion through their financial inclusion projects which aim at delivery of financial services at an affordable cost to them. People in developing countries have less options for transferring money and accessing banking services, because there is less deployed formal ... Full story

RESEARCH: Rang De and online lending in India

By Arvind Ashta and Djamchid Assadi Microfinance Focus, Feb. 7, 2010: The microfinance movement has been witnessing high growth rates along with high interest rates of about 28% per annum on average (CGAP, 2009). The small loan size in relation to transactional costs is the usual explanation offered for the high interest rates. One possibility of lowering these interest rates is through technology such as using ... Full story

ANALYSIS: Is microfinance investment on decline in Latin America?

By Matthew Fuchs Microfinance Focus, Feb 4, 2010: While microfinance institutions in Latin America are recovering as the general economic climate stabilizes, demand from MFIs for debt will remain subdued in the first half of 2010. And when growth returns, it is unlikely to be at the pace the industry has enjoyed previously. In terms of investment, Latin ... Full story

AccessBank of Azerbaijan joins MicroFinance Transparency’s Transparent Pricing Initiative

By Nagesh Narayana Microfinance Focus, Feb 4, 2010: AccessBank, the leader of commercial microfinance in Azerbaijan, has recently submitted pricing data for all its microfinance loan products to MFTransparency. To date, AccessBank has 98,000 active borrowers and by far the largest portfolio of microfinance products in Azerbaijan, totaling $297 million as of January 1, 2010. AccessBank is a member of the Azerbaijani Micro-finance Association (AMFA), MFTransparency’s partner ... Full story

Microfinance institutions step up relief for quake-hit Haitians

Microfinance institutions step up relief for quake-hit Haitians
By Nagesh Narayana Microfinance Focus, Jan. 30, 2010: In the past, microfinance services have helped to empower and provide stability for poor Haitians but the need is far greater now with the 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastating the nation on January 12 and leaving 200,000 dead. Those who survived were left without food and water for days and ... Full story

US airlifts cash to help Haitian Microfinance Bank Fonkoze

By Nagesh Narayana Microfinance Focus, Jan. 28, 2010: The U.S. government has put cash in the hands of Fonkoze, the largest microfinance institution in Haiti, in a mission that required close cooperation of the U.S. military, the United Nations and multiple U.S. government agencies, said posting on US government website. In the wake of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, Fonkoze was the only ... Full story

Special Debate: Microfinance Credit Bubbles and Self-Regulation

Is there a microfinance bubble in India?  Can self-regulation help prevent it?   Directors of leading Indian MFIs, Vijay Mahajan of BASIX and P.N. Vasudevan of Equitas share their views on whether such a bubble exists, as well as what Indian MFIs are doing to prevent one from happening.  Daniel Rozas and Sanjay Sinha provide an update on the level of saturation in the Indian microfinance market, and discuss their thoughts on whether self-regulation by Indian MFIs can be effective at controlling overlending. Full story
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