Microfinance Focus, Oct. 5, 2009: A new report on microfinance sponsored by International Finance Corporation has ranked India number four while Peru topped the list among surveyed countries for having the best business conditions for microfinance.
This is the second year in a row that Peru tops the charts in the Microscope Index, part of the microfinance report, which also is sponsored by the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank, Corporación Andina de Fomento, and the Economist Intelligence Unit. The index consists of a scorecard weighing 13 indicators grouped into three categories—regulatory framework, investment climate, and institutional development.
The best ranked region is Latin America, manifesting the commitment to microfinance throughout the region. Bolivia holds second place among ranked countries worldwide, and a total of six Latin American nations are among the top ten—Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Colombia, and El Salvador.
The Philippines, ranked third worldwide, is the strongest finisher outside of Latin America, followed closely by India in fourth place. The top African countries are Ghana, in fifth place, and Uganda, in ninth.
The index is being presented at the 2009 Microenterprise Forum, taking place in Arequipa, Peru, from September 30 through October 2.
“The broader reach of this year’s report gives us a better understanding of where microfinance is taking off and what makes that happen,” said Peer Stein, IFC Manager for Access to Finance Advisory Services. “Advancing the regulatory and institutional environment for microfinance in emerging markets is critical to building more inclusive financial markets.”
The index was developed in 2007 by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the business information arm of The Economist Group, with support from the Multilateral Investment Fund and Corporación Andina de Fomento. After two years, IFC joins the effort with Dutch government support, helping make the index truly global.