Monthly Newsletter – Issue No. 26

Monthly Newsletter – Issue No. 26
Monthly Newsletter – Issue No. 26

Monthly Newsletter Issue No. 26

MAY 2016

Latest News

Afghanistan: OXUS Afghanistan Has Reached 20,000 Active Clients | May 18

Entrepreneurship in Afghanistan benefits from micro credit: the microfinance institution OXUS Afghanistan has reached 20,000 clients in February 2016

This represents the number of micro entrepreneurs currently financed by OXUS in Afghanistan. The microfinance institution of the OXUS network was founded in 2007 by the French NGO ACTED and has been present for almost 10 years in Afghanistan. Its clients are the small Afghan merchants, craftsmen and farmers who participate in the country’s reconstruction, in rural as well as urban areas.

OXUS Afghanistan is present throughout the country thanks to a network of 17 branches and 369 employees. Today, 20 000 clients of which almost 50% live in unprivileged rural areas benefit from an average loan amount of around 400 euros. In 10 years, over 100 000 loans have been granted by OXUS Afghanistan and therefore testify of the microfinance institution’s continuous commitment towards the population most excluded from the traditional banking system.

Bhutan: First ADB-CNBC Award to Honor Financial Institution in Georgia, Company in Bhutan | May 03

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and CNBC today presented best transaction awards for 2015 to Credo LLC, a microfinance organization based in the Republic of Georgia, and Mountain Hazelnuts, an agribusiness company from Bhutan. The awards focus on highly developmental transactions and underline the important work clients of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department (PSOD) undertake in developing countries in Asia and the Pacific. The two were honored with the inaugural ADB Private Sector-CNBC Awards for their ground-breaking, impactful private sector solutions to key development challenges.

Credo LLC received the award for Best Financial Sector Transaction. Credo works to expand banking services for small businesses and farming households and improve delivery of financial services to underserved regions. ADB signed an agreement with Credo for a four-year USD 23 million loan in 2015 and a technical assistance grant of USD 300,000 to support its efforts in developing full retail services and expanding its operational systems as it transitions to becoming a bank.  ADB is expected to provide local currency funding to Credo which it can onlend in lari, thereby removing the foreign exchange risk of borrowers.

India: An Economist Who Helps Women Help Themselves | May 25

Despite the creation of self-help groups and microfinance schemes, Hemlata Manglani’s case studies reveal that the social environment for women’s enterprises in Haryana has not improved.

The Life of Science – Cells, electrons or chemical bonds are not on her mind. Hemlata Manglani is a different kind of scientist – she observes the deposits in bank accounts of women in India.

Her research question is simple. Despite many government schemes, why is the socio-economic condition of some communities not improving? To answer this, she needs no microscope or particle accelerator, just a well-crafted questionnaire that can reach as many people as possible.

For her recently awarded Ph.D. thesis, Hema interviewed thousands of artisans working in three hundred printing enterprises across the Sanganer and Bagru regions of Rajasthan. “My work was focussed on the economy of Rajasthan, which is entirely based on exports. Artisans making blocks and printed fabric in these areas are an important part of this export-based economy. I wanted to explore the socio-economic conditions of these people who heavily contribute to this economy,” she tells me at her office at Central University of Rajasthan, next to the national highway connecting between Jaipur and Ajmer.

India: IFC to Invest $20 mn in Microlender Grameen Koota | May 18

International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private-sector lending arm, will invest up to Rs 135 crore ($20 million) in microlender Grameen Koota Financial Services Pvt Ltd via debt.

The investment will help Grameen Koota to diversify its sources of funding and provide microfinance to more borrowers who have little or no access to formal sources of financing, IFC said in a disclosure. The investment will be made through non-convertible debentures, it said.

Grameen Koota has been in micro-credit operations since 1999 and is the sixth-largest microfinance institutions in terms of gross loans in India as of December 2015, IFC said.

The Bangalore-based company operates in five states– Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh–across 71 districts through 298 branches and has around 1.2 million woman borrowers.

Grameen Koota is majority owned by CreditAccess Asia NV (81.2%), a company incorporated in the Netherlands with interests across several Asian microfinance institutions including Equitas Holdings Ltd in India. Creation Investments Social Funds II, Grameen’s promoters and employees own the remaining stake in the lender.

Pakistan: Pakistan’s underbanked get evolved mobile money services from Easypaisa and Ericsson | May 03

To accelerate the uptake of mobile money services among the underbanked in Pakistan, Ericsson (ERIC) announces that Easypaisa, Pakistan`s first and largest branchless banking solution, is deploying Ericsson Wallet Platform to replace its existing platform.

Pakistan has an estimated population of 199 million, with approximately 60 percent of people living on under USD 2 a day and only 15 percent reported to have a bank account.

To accelerate the uptake of mobile money services among the underbanked in Pakistan, Ericsson (ERIC) announces that Easypaisa, Pakistan`s first and largest branchless banking solution, is deploying Ericsson Wallet Platform to replace its existing platform.

Easypaisa was launched jointly by Tameer Micro Finance Bank and Telenor Pakistan. Norway-based Telenor Group, which owns Telenor Pakistan, recently completed the acquisition of Tameer Micro Finance Bank.

Easypaisa`s partnership with Ericsson accelerates and increases the availability of mobile money services for the country`s citizens, while positioning banks to succeed in an expanding mobile money ecosystem.

Pakistan: Tameer Bank Wins Two Prestigious Awards at the Pakistan Banking Awards 2016 | May 15

Tameer Microfinance Bank bagged the ‘Best Microfinance Bank’ and the ‘Bank the Unbanked’ awards at the country’s first ever Pakistan Banking Awards 2016, held at the Mohatta Palace, Karachi. These awards were given to banks that performed well and contributed significantly towards social impact and financial inclusion in Pakistan.

The first award category, ‘Bank the Unbanked’ recognizes Tameer Bank for the work it has done on financial inclusion in Pakistan. As the first microfinance bank and the financial powerhouse behind Easypaisa, Tameer Bank has brought financial services to millions of Pakistanis, with over 75,000 touch points and more than 21 million active customers. This award is particularly significant as it reflects Tameer’s penetration in rural and low-income urban segments of the society, particularly women. Tameer Bank, through its microfinance leadership and branchless banking services, is committed to accelerating socio-economic development.

Nepal: Serve rural areas or lose license, NRB Guv tells microfinance institutions | May 15

Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Governor Chiranjibi Nepal has warned that the central bank may scrap the license of microfinance institutions who fail to reach rural areas of the country.

Addressing the inaugural session of a two-day National Microfinance Members’ Summit that kicked off in Kathmandu on Sunday, Governor Nepal urged the microfinance institutions to focus their services in villages.

“There are people in the villages willing to embrace entrepreneurship. They have the capacity to run enterprises. You should finance them. You should go to the villages,” Nepal added.

The statement of the central bank governor has come in the wake of growing complaints that the microfinance institutions, which were licensed to provide their services in certain areas of the country, are centered in convenient and urban areas.

Upcoming Events

Strategic Management for Microfinance Practitioners

July 11 – 15, 2016 | Washington, DC – United States
Mekong Financial Inclusion Forum

July 11 – 14, 2016 | Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Micro, SME & Housing Finance Summer Academy 2016

July 17 – 22, 2016 | Frankfurt, Germany

About SAMN

The South Asia Micro-entrepreneurs Network (SAMN) is a regional body working to enhance financial inclusion among low-income population in the region. SAMN achieves this by improving knowledge, business environment and capital flows for the microfinance industry across six countries in the region: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. SAMN’s members are national networks from these countries. Thus, SAMN is the representative voice of the South Asian Micro-entrepreneurs community reaching more than 60 million low-income customers in the region.