Monthly Newsletter – Issue No. 35

Monthly Newsletter – Issue No. 35
Monthly Newsletter – Issue No. 35

Monthly Newsletter Issue No. 35

February, 2017

Latest News

India: ADB Support to Strengthen Microfinance Ecosystem in Asia  | February 21

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed a $1.5 million equity investment agreement with Micro-Credit Ratings International Limited (M-CRIL). The agreement was signed by Christine Engstrom, ADB’s Director for Private Sector Operations – Financial Institutions, and Sanjay Sinha, Managing Director of M-CRIL in a ceremony held in New Delhi.
The investment will boost M-CRIL’s resources, support its existing operations in India and Myanmar, and help it expand its activities in other emerging countries, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, and the People’s Republic of China.
In assisting M-CRIL meet accreditation requirements in India, ADB’s investment will help the company to develop a knowledge-based pathway for strengthened regional integration, with India potentially emerging as its key analytics hub.


Read more at:

India: Demonetization and Microfinance: Braving note ban drive, industry bounced back 90% by mid-December | February 13

In the thick of demonetisation, states like West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Chattisgarh, Punjab and Goa had a collection shortfall of not more than 9%. This is no small achievement for the industry, signalling that women are willing to endure small pinches to keep their credit flow intact.
Microfinance’s biggest strength can be seen in the adverse situations affecting the sector. Between mid-November and December 2016, the country, more acutely the rural parts, witnessed huge cash crunch. But this did not deter women from gradually making timely loan repayments. Barring a few districts, the industry bounced back to over 90% repayments by mid-December 2016. When women come together in a joint liability format, they responsibly help each other in utilising the loans for livelihood enhancement, bringing a strong cooperative outlook towards their collective future.

Read more at:

 India: Interesting Times for Financial Services   | February 13

The last year was eventful for the financial services industry; 2017 is expected to surpass that. Over the years we have seen new sectors gaining prominence, be it microfinance, gold finance or small finance banks. Insurance, and in particular general insurance, is the new sector in focus.
Over the last 2-3 years, the life insurance space has seen consolidation, IPOs, exit of domestic/foreign JV partners and more. As the gap between the top 5-7 players and the rest increases, we will see further consolidation. Greater consolidation
General insurance companies are expected to follow a similar path. We are already seeing the initial signs of such JV restructuring with increasing interest from private equity players. Typically, in any new sector, the leaders tap the public markets and create a benchmark. In life insurance, we saw HDFC Life and ICICI Prudential India
Life taking that path. In the general insurance sector, the Government has already taken the lead to list five PSU general insurance companies, with GIC Re and New India Assurance likely to hit the public markets in FY18. Private players are not far behind.

Read more at:

Pakistan: Government to Launch $130m Financial Inclusion Project | February 07

The government is embarking on the Pakistan Financial Inclusion and Infrastructure Project aimed at increasing access to financial services for households and businesses by improving usage of digital payments in the country.
Two World Bank institutions — International Bank for the Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association — will jointly provide $130 million finance for the project. The project will be implemented by the recently-established Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company, the Central Directorate of National Savings and the State Bank’s development finance group.
Requesting assistance for the project, the government has informed the World Bank that the project will support a holistic national financial inclusion strategy (NFIS).
It will focus on the development of market infrastructure and the ecosystem that will facilitate access and usage of digital payments and financial services.
Access to credit for micro, small and medium enterprises will be supported by a line of credit that will catalyse private sector financing and focused interventions including technical assistance in line with the NFIS.
In 2015, the government launched the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) with a vision to allow individuals and firms access to a range of quality payments, savings, credit and insurance services which meet their needs with dignity and fairness.

Read more at:

Pakistan: Microfinance Model Ventures into Pakistan   | February 03

The LOLC Group inked a historic joint venture with Pak Oman Microfinance Bank Limited to introduce LOLC’s exceptional and globally accepted Microfinance model to the people of Pakistan.
Having observed LOLC’s uniquely effective microfinance business model and its success stories in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Cambodia, Pak Oman Microfinance Bank Limited which is a joint venture between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Sultanate of Oman, invited LOLC to take a majority stake in their Microfinance venture, a press release said.
It adds– ‘Pak Oman Microfinance Bank has been offering a range of micro credit and micro savings products and services to the people of Pakistan, since its inception in May 2006. Through its new partnership with LOLC, Pak Oman Microfinance Bank hopes to capitalise on the speciality of LOLC’s distinctive Microfinance model which keeps transforming and enabling Micro businesses to become Small and Medium level enterprises through sustainable industrialization.

Read more at:

SriLanka: EU Project Breaks Ground in Sri Lanka |January 12

More than 215, 000 people will benefit from a 14-million-euro (over US$ 14.8 million) multi-faceted housing project, financed by the European Union and implemented by Habitat for Humanity and World Vision Lanka.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives for the Delegation of the European Union, Tung-Laï Margue said: “I am hopeful that this project will assist in providing returnee families with not just homes and livelihood alternatives but also the necessary support to rebuild a life and a future for themselves. The goal has always been to turn the cycle of impoverishment and reliance to that of self-sufficiency, and I am encouraged to see that we are moving in the right direction through this initiative.”
The project, which bridges the gap between relief, rehabilitation and development, aims to build 2,315 houses and repair 140 homes in 31 divisions across Batticaloa, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu by early 2020. It utilizes alternative materials and techniques to reduce constructions costs, while ensuring decent housing, and to encourage the use and production of locally manufactured earth blocks and construction materials.

Read more at:

Upcoming Events

Risk Management Program for Microfinance Regulators and Practitioners

APRIL 01, 2017 | Nairobi, Kenya
Advanced Risk Management Course for Microfinance Managers

April 24 – 28, 2017 |London, United Kingdom
Micro-insurance and Micro-pension Acceleration Workshop Series II

May 03 – 05, 2017 | Lusaka, Zambia
Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Learning Forum

May 23 – 25, 2017| Bangkok, Thailand

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.