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 • View: Dont panic, robots are not job snatchers
  By Phil Fersht Remember the panic about jobs getting shipped off shore? Well, that is child's play compared to the emerging tumult of fear being generated by jobs being completely eliminated by robotics. Net-net, people are frozen stiff with fear, and it's the responsibility of respected analysts, consultants, academics and journalists alike to educate and world using real, substantiated facts. Sadly , the likes of Gartner, McKinsey , Oxford University and our beloved Stephen Hawking, all seem hell-bent on capitalising on the panic to grab the headlines, as opposed to dispelling much of the scaremongering such as: McKinsey believes 45% of cur rent jobs could be replaced using technology that already exists Forrester claims 1 m US B2B sales jobs will go away by 2020 Gartner predicts 1 in 3 jobs will be converted to software, robots and smart machines by 2025 According to an Oxford University study , 47% of total US employment is at risk Stephen Hawking warns us AI would be the biggest and possibly the last event in human history The beauty of all these wild predictions is that few will remember who made them in a couple of years or the fact they were made at all. That's the beauty of being an analyst in today's market you can make up any old fantastical claptrap and never be held accountable for it in the future. At HfS, we believe here is likely to be modest downsizing of 9% over the next five years as low-end tasks are increasingly automated across major service delivery locations. And this 9% will be immersed in natural attrition and redeployment of workers to other industries, as global services streamlines and matures as an industry. So why are so many automation and AI claims factually incorrect and irresponsible? SPEED OF INTERNAL CHANGE IS SLOW The tendency from clients with automation is to pilot first, than to go full scale, and every ambitious forecast is always waylaid by the reality of interacting with legacy systems. Most of today's Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools are simply being retrofitted into smoothing over manual processes within legacy technology environments with obsolete processes. They are adding efficiency to broken operations, which may , in the future, lead to a lesser need for headcount in low value work areas. Talking about today's enterprises being so close to investing in Robo bosses is just very wide of the mark. COGNITIVE TOOLS ARE ONLY JUST EMERGING While IBM has done a stellar job aligning its Watson capabilities with the healthcare industry (read our report here) and software experts such as IPSoft's Amelia and Celaton have some compelling client stories to tell, the focus on self-learning and intuitive cognitive solutions are mainly confined to customer service technology and virtual assistant chatboxes. Talk to the call centre BPO providers and they're only just figuring this out.... forget robobosses, we're still just trying to see some basic software to make chatboxes work better.
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 • More firms but fewer offers at IITs this year
  MUMBAI: Although more companies visited IIT campuses this year for Phase I of the recruitment process, the number of offers per company appear to be fewer than in the previous year. At IIT-Bombay, the number of students picked by leading finance and consulting firms has reduced; it has shrunk from 16 to 13 as in the case with Goldman Sachs or nine to four from consulting firm BCG. Meanwhile, students across IITs have received more offers from the analytics sector. Firms such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, known to pick candidates for core finance profiles, for instance, have more openings in analytics. A student said that barring a couple of firms from the finance and banking sectors like Deutsche Bank and Flow Traders that have offered core finance jobs, many such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have offered analytics roles. "Many look forward to these companies for finance roles. But they have sought more students from the software and coding background," said a student. Banks such as ANZ, Axis and CitiFinance, too, have hired students for roles that do not require financial background but programming skills and statistical modelling. Several students who have interned in banks and other financial firms were disappointed with the drop in offers. At IIT-Kharagpur, the placement cell has witnessed an approximately 10% growth in big data analysts. "Decision-making is more data-driven these days. All decisions have to be supported by data. There is a fresh wave of recruitment in this sector. Firms that were earlier hiring normal business analysts are now looking for data analysts and some are even looking at students who are into coding for techdriven roles. Banking firms are also now opening profiles for data analysts or data science analysts," said a placement representative from IIT-Kharagpur. The institute has been offering tailor-made courses in deep learning and machine learning for these profiles since the past two years. He said that JP Morgan, known for picking students for their investment banking arms, has taken students only for data roles.
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 • Yes Bank asks MFIs to return Rs.100 cr loans
  Private sector lender Yes Bank Ltd has recalled at least Rs.100 crore of loans it advanced to microfinance institutions (MFIs), which have been negotiating with commercial banks for new loans as they battle a crisis of confidence. Yes Bank is the first commercial bank to seek such a loan recall.......
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 • 2010: Year of the great purge for microfinance banks
  The microfinance banking industry experienced the first official purging in 2010, four year after the introduction of the microfinance policy in Nigeria. The year saw the reduction in the number of MFBs by 103 courtesy of the regulatory hammer of the Central Bank of Nigeria.......
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 • RBI urges banks to keep lending to microfinance firms
  A delegation of banks told the RBI on Wednesday that collections in Andhra Pradesh, the hub of the industry, had suffered significantly since October when the state rules came into effect, and warned that the problem showed signs of spreading to other states, an RBI statement said.......
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 • Microfinance, Macro Trends
  The Indian microfinance model developed differently from that in its original home in Bangladesh. It took root with self-help groups (SHGs) set up in Karnataka by Myrada, with NABARD's support, back in the early 1980s. These affinity groups created a social glue among poor women which allowed.......
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 • Microfinancier cash cycles extend as repayments halt
  Microfinance institutions (MFIs) operating in Andhra Pradesh are in real trouble. Recovery of loans is said to be dropping by the day, pushing them into a delicate situation over liquidity. Though the companies are not willing to share their exact recovery rates, industry sources said they are unable.......
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 • Microfinance: New Bill will ban multiple loans
  Borrowers taking loans from microfinance institutions (MFIs) may have to pay back one loan before taking another. They may no longer be allowed to indulge in “multiple borrowing” from the same MFI or from more than one. Similarly, MFIs may also not be permitted to lend to an individual.......
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 • Macro pains of microfinance institutions
  MFIs' macro pain came to light when SKS Microfinance invited the ire of the Andhra Pradesh Government. By an Ordinance on MFIs in mid-October, the State sought to regulate the MFIs' lending practices, including inordinate interest they charged hapless small borrowers, and the crude recovery tactics.......
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 • Micro-managing microfinance
  The Indian government must regulate microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the interest of the millions of borrowing households that seem to be suffering from the problems of, among others, high interest rates and coercive recovery practices, sometimes allegedly leading to suicide.......
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 • Over 60 SKS staff in millionaire club
  Employees working in various capacities -ranging from an assistant manager to a vicepresident - have sold their holdings in at least 130 separate transactions ever since the Hyderabad-based firm listed its shares, data show. So far, the employees have sold 1.96 lakh shares, accounting for nearly.......
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 • Indian microfinance warns of crisis after suicides
  The government of Andhra Pradesh state -- which accounts for about a third of microlending in India -- is investigating 56 suicides that occurred over the past 60 days that were allegedly linked to high interest rates and aggressive loan collection tactics by microfinance institutions.......
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 • RBI appoints Malegam to head MFI sub-committee
  The Reserve Bank of India has appointed chartered accountant and a long-standing member of RBI’s central board Yezdi H Malegam to head a sub-committee to study concerns in the micro-finance sector. The committee is expected to submit its report in three months.......
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 • Microfin may be hot, but India scores below Peru, Bolivia
  India ranks eight in the overall tally, below Pakistan, which is less stable politically and economically. Bangladesh, which has been on the global microfinance map owing to Professor Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank, ranks a poor 33rd and scored lower than it did in 2009.......
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 • SKS Microfinance share price rises by Rs 60 on expectations of good results
  SKS Microfinance’s stock price rose by Rs 57.75 at the end of yesterday’s trading. The stock was up by 5.34 % on the expectations that it will report better than expected results. The Stock made a high of Rs 1164.30 and a low of Rs 1071.00 in the days trading before.......
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 • RBI team to visit Andhra Pradesh over microfinance issues
  According to two persons familiar with the development, Andhra Pradesh chief minister K Rosaiah spoke with the RBI governor Duvvuri Subbarao, who is also from the state, explaining to him the difficulties the state has been facing in handling the microfinanciers.......
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 • Prior to RBI's order, MFIs prepare to lower rates
  Microfinance institutions are coming under greater scrutiny for charging higher interest rates to the poor. In a recent letter to the public sector banks, the government has asked banks to ensure that their MFI borrowers cap their lending rates at 24%. But are these MFIs serious about bringing down rates.......
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 • SKS Micro sacks CEO: Should investors be wary?
  Investors of SKS Microfinance were in for a surprise on Monday with the company sacking its chief executive officer and managing director Suresh Gurumani, with immediate effect. As per sources, differences between chairman and founder Vikram Akula and Gurumani has led to the latter’s termination.......
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 • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gives $5.6m grant to Water For People
  The grant represents an investment over four years in Water For People’s Sanitation as a Business work, testing possible sustainable sanitation services in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The program will combine profit incentives for small local companies and income generation programs for poor.......
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 • Expert Meeting on Social Performance of Microfinance Institutions
  Netherland based microfinance investment manager Triple Jump in collaboration with Oikocredit and CGAP will be organizing an Expert Meeting for Social Investors on Tools to Assess Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Performance of Microfinance Institutions on 23 September 2010.......
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 • Aavishkaar Goodwell plans to raise $ 80 mn microfinance equity fund
  In the wake of recent partial exit from Chennai based Microfinance institution Equitas, Aavishkaar Goodwell’s managers expect that this exit will accelerate their efforts to raise a second microfinance private equity fund for India of USD 80 mn, which is planned to have its first closing this fall.......
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 • Internet based microfinance platform ‘40billion.com’ raised $25 Million for SMEs
  “More entrepreneurs are using our Internet-based microfinance platform to get business loans because their communities and networks of friends and relatives will help them when banks will not,” said Cornelius McNab, CEO and founder of 40billion.com. “To help us handle the tremendous growth in demand.......
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 • Assam’s microfinance sector needs mentoring
  Compared to the rest of the country, the progress of microfinance in the North Eastern (NE) Region of India has been very slow. Only 0.02 percent of total microfinance loans disbursed during 2008-09 was in the NE Region. The share of NE Region in the total no. of existing SHGs is only 0.04 percent.......
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 • SKS Microfinance shares trading high on market debut
  SKS is operating in 19 states with over 2000 branches 6.78 million members. The value of its loan outstanding has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 147.7% to Rs29.4 billion ($629 million) from Rs780.5 million in fiscal 2010. Its net profit has also expanded at a CAGR of 221% in the same period to Rs1.7 billion.......
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 • SKS Microfinance: giant squid, ‘devta’ or just a business?
  After all the Coca-Cola analogy (SKS promoter Vikram Akula, it seems, jumps onto the stage with a Coke can in hand to demonstrate that SKS will do what the fast-moving consumer goods, or FMCG, industry has managed to do—attain mass outreach in a replicable model) is what I have been writing about.......
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 • CARE assigns grade 4/5 to SKS Microfinance IPO
  The grading takes into account track record of the promoters, experienced board of directors and strong management profile. The grading also takes into account good corporate governance practices adopted by the company including presence of various committees and independence of the board.......
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 • Islamic Microfinance – An idea whose time has come in India?
  As a plethora of financial inclusion models emerge across India, vast segments of the Muslim community still remain under-banked. In recent years, a handful of leading financial players have developed Shariah-compliant funds for the Indian market. However, full-fledged Islamic banks are yet to make inroads.......
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 • Regulating microfinance
  In 2005, then Reserve Bank of India governor Y.V. Reddy summed up the central bank’s approach to microfinance when he said regulating the industry would militate against its core spirit—informality and flexibility—that had served it so well. Five years later, as a microfinance Bill remains stalled.....
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 • No Fresh Approvals to NBFCs in Microfinance for accepting Deposits – Usha Thorat
  Focussing on the approach of regulating non-bank intermediaries, Ms. Usha discussed the issue of allowing NBFCs especially microfinance companies to provide savings facilities and deposit products for their clients. Highlighting the difficulties in ensuring effective supervision of large number of small deposit.....
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 • World Bank approves two projects in India
  "A renewed and modernised statistical system has become essential in order to measure rapid economic and social change, monitor the effects of reform, and to calibrate policy change both in the states and at the centre," the bank's senior economist and project team leader Farah Zahir said.....
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 • How long the vanilla won't melt?
  As all of us have seen the industry as "it believes what is tested, successful and worked". The success of Grameen Model has been tasted by 95% of the mFIs. The target customers are the same, "women from urban slums, semi urban places or maximum from villages with good approach and all weather road".......
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 • What is wrong with Indian microfinance
  From people carrying a sling bag on their shoulders and dressed in a khadi kurta, the microfinance industry (MFI) has moved upmarket either to suits or FabIndia kurtas. A netbook has replaced the sling bag. In about a decade, microfinance has moved from helping the poor to access finance to an interesting business.......
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 • A Microfinance IPO in India
  For years, advocates for the poor have promoted microfinance—small loans for entrepreneurs in the rural areas of Latin America, Africa, and Asia. In 2006, Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize for popularizing the idea. Now businessman Vikram Akula is betting that microfinance is good.......
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 • Micro-finance institutions: Pay more for less hassle
  Nothing deters the women who form a snaking queue in front of the partly constructed building that is the office of Bandhan, a micro-finance institution. Not the stifling heat of the summer afternoon, not the poor infrastructure, not even a nationalised bank’s branch that sits just a few yards away.......
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 • Microfinance companies planning to take IPO route
  Microfinance institutions that lend money to the poor are coming of age and are now tapping the equity market through initial public offerings or IPOs for their funding needs. SKS Microfinance, the country's largest such institution, is the first to hit the market and hopes to raise over Rs 1,000 crore.......
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 • Lessons for Microfinance
  Lenders in microfinance recognize that enticing clients to over-borrow, offering complicated financial instruments, ignoring client education, and failing to progress on interest rate transparency will have dire consequences. We need look no further than the American mortgage industry for a stunning lesson.......
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 • Microfinance has The Makings of An Industry
  Opportunities at the bottom of the pyramid are driving the buzz today. One of the most significant areas in this category in India is Microfinance – both in what it has been able to achieve over the past couple of decades, as well as in its unrealized potential. Besides the scale of business that is possible.......
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 • MFI body plans code of conduct
  The country’s leading micro-finance players have pledged to improve the ways they deal with poor borrowers and have promised to review lending rates after March 2010. For starters, Sa-Dhan, the national association of micro finance institutions (MFIs), is now planning to put in place a more stringent code.......
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 • RBI to MFIs: Shape up or face music
  India’s booming microfinance segment is under the scanner, with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issuing a veiled warning that it could be taken off the priority sector lending list of banks if the industry fails to improve its governance standards. This was spelt out at a meeting in late January between.......
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 • MFs turn to micro-finance investment for returns kick
  While banks constantly try to increase their investment in the microfinance sector through rated and tradable securities, mutual fund investments in micro-credit institutions are still considered a rarity. According to MFI sources, ICICI Pru has invested into paper issued by Equitas Microfin on the.......
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 • IFMR Capital Structures the First Multi Originator Securitisation in Microfinance
  FMR Capital recently concluded a multi-originator securitisation of micro-loans originated by four microfinance institutions in India. The Rs. 308 million (US$6.5 million) transaction is backed by around 42,000 micro-loans originated by Asirvad Microfinance Pvt Ltd, Sahayata Microfinance Pvt Ltd.......
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 • Microsoft entices microfinance groups with free software
  MICROSOFT Corp. said it’s willing to give away for free more than $1-million worth of software to encourage microfinance groups to adapt technology and make poverty alleviation programs and services more efficient. “It’s a sweet spot,” global community affairs program manager Lindsay Bealko told reporters.......
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 • Now, home loans from SKS Microfinance
  The pilot project will be conducted in Andhra Pradesh among credit members who have been with SKS for at least three years. These loans will be towards extension and improvement of dwelling units which double as income-generating units like eateries, kirana shops, papad and agarbathi-making units, among others.......
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 • Climate Change and Microfinance, New Report
  Grameen Foundation and Oxfam America released a new report which examines the critical role microfinance institutions (MFIs) can play in mitigating the impact of climate change on poor people. Written by Asif Dowla, a noted microfinance expert and professor of economics at St. Mary’s College, the report.......
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 • IFC keen on increasing exposure to Indian cos
  IFC among other things plans to increase its lending support to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through the commercial banks in the country. “In other countries we share the risks with the banks on lending to SMEs. We would love to do that in India too provided the regulations allow.......
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 • SKS Microfinance ties up with banks to implement CMS
  SKS Microfinance has inked pact with three private banks for deploying an integrated cash management system (CMS) for 575 of its rural branches. The microfinance institution, which has about 1,700 branches, would partner with Axis Bank (300 branches), ICICI Bank (175 branches) and HDFC Bank (100 branches).......
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 • Securi(tizi)ng microfinance
  The primary purpose of microfinance has to be financial inclusion. But the secondary purpose is to raise the standards of living of the borrowers permanently. Without the latter, the former would eventually result in financial exclusion. Raising standards of living requires skills augmentation.......
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 • India microfinance records 30% growth: State of the Sector report
  Microfinance Focus, Oct. 26, 2009: India’s Microfinance institutions reached 76.6 million against last year’s 59 million, according to the “State of the Sector Report” released on Monday in New Delhi. Compiled by N. Srinivasan, the report was released as part of the annual Microfinance India Summit 2009.......
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 • Microlending in India Continues Macro Growth
  Mainstream banks, in both the private and public sectors, are increasingly considering channeling funds into microfinance banks rather than directly to India's poor. Four public-sector banks and three private-sector banks entered microfinance this year, making for a total of roughly 30 banks.......
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 • High domestic funding saves Indian MFIs from meltdown: Study
  "Globally microfinance sector experienced shocks induced by the meltdown," said N Srinivasan, author of 'State of the Sector Report 2009', an annual study on microfinance brought out by Access Development Services, a not-for-profit company.......
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 • Crime, inaccessibility impede spread of microfinance activity
  MFIs say that though they have been present in certain districts of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, Naxal-dominated areas such as Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura in West Bengal; Koderma, Latehar, Palamu and Gumla in Jharkhand; Bastar in Chhattisgarh; and Sundargarh in Orissa.......
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 • Banks’ credit squeeze a boon to microfinance
  "Banks that went gung-ho, opening all their branches last year, had their profit come down because this has not been a good year. Banks that were conservative did pretty well," Mr Stephen Gugu, an analyst at Stanbic Investments was recently quoted saying by Reuters.......
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 • Citi, US agency to expand micro-finance tie-up
  “Leveraging Citi’s emerging markets presence, this new Citi/OPIC $250-million global programme will provide incremental funding to achieve our shared objectives of supporting micro-entrepreneurship and stimulating economic growth,” said Vikram Pandit, chief executive officer of Citi.......
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 • India ranked 4 in IFC-sponsored Global Index on Microfinance
  “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.......
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 • SKS microfinance reaches 50 lakh women, targets 500 lakh now
  SKS Microfinance currently has a membership base of 5,013,219 and aims to reach 500 lakhs in near future. With an outstanding loan amount of Rs. 2,815 crore, it operates through 1,628 branches in 19 Indian states. The company also offers a retail micro-insurance product along with Bajaj Allianz for its members.......
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 • Cherie Blair to address Microfinance India Summit 2009
  The summit with its theme “Doing Good and Doing Well: The need for balance”, will focus on providing financial services to low-income groups. The event, sixth in a series of annual summits organised by ACCESS Development Services, a microfinance solutions provider, will draw diverse perspectives.......
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 • Microfinance sector to be among the biggest job providers in India
  Though the financial slowdown has shown its impact in the banking sector for the developing economies, micro finance institutions (MFIs) still have a long way to go as according to a study in the next five to 10 years, 20,000 middle-level managers and 150,000 loan officers will be required in India.......
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 • Nokia rolling out micro finance for mobile handsets in India
  The penetration of mobile phones in rural India is still very low at 13 percent, and much of the growth in mobile telephony will be in non-urban markets, the company said. Its objective is to lower access barriers as well as total cost of ownership in these markets, it added.......
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 • Now, loans for city's urban poor
  A Mumbai-based MFI, Swadhaar (Swadhaar FinServe Microfinance Limited) which will kick off its operations in the city from Tuesday will extend help to the urban poor and help them to become self reliant with the help of micro-finance. It's for the first time that Swadhaar will be setting base in Gujarat and even outside.......
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 • Indian Microfinance on the verge of consolidation: Aavishkaar CEO
  “Consolidation would become necessary for MFIs which are large in size while those smaller MFIs work at the grass roots level and hold the key to engage the borrowers. Here, the big MFIs would prefer to take over the district and semi-urban MFIs to get access,” Mr. Rai told Microfinance Focus in an interview.......
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 • VC/PEs bet on microfinance
  Venture capitalists/PE (private equity) funds are now looking at investing in micro finance companies in India. According to industry observers, around Rs 1,000 crore is expected to be invested by venture capitalists/PE funds in the Indian micro finance space (MFIs) this year. In fact, of the 50 private equity.......
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 • Grassroots Capital Raises $60M To Make Microfinance Investments
  Netherlands based investor company PGGM, which has about €75 billion ($106 billion) of assets under management will invest $60 million in a microfinance private equity fund managed by Grassroots Capital, reports Pionline.com. Grassroots Capital's Global Microfinance Equity Fund will invest primarily in India.......
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 • Aavishkaar Goodwell Invests INR 45 million in Suryoday Microfinance
  Suryoday Micro Finance Pvt Ltd (SMF) is a new age professional MFI that commenced its micro‐credit operations in Pune, Maharashtra in May’09, shortly after receiving its NBFC license from Reserve Bank of India. It is engaged in providing loans to women from Economically Weaker Sections, Below Poverty Line.......
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 • Microfinance sector a rage among PE investors
  Private equity firms looking for recession proof companies are finding Indian micro finance institutions very attractive. According to Venture Intelligence, a Chennai-based agency that tracks PE investments, deals worth USD 242 million took place in the microfinance sector in the last 12 months.......
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 • Kerala, Karnataka Based MFIs Raise Funds
  Microfinance institutions have been raising funds since the beginning of the year. Last month, SKS Microfinance had raised Rs 75 crore by issuing one year NCD (non convertible debentures) at a coupon rate of 10%. It also listed its NCDs listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).......
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 • World Bank rural finance scheme to help Indian farmers
  "Having access to safe and reliable financial services such as savings, credit and insurance, allows poor farmers to safeguard cash, which they often receive only once a year during harvest. In this way, they can better provide for their families, prepare for emergencies, and build long term financial security.......
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 • Spandana raises Rs 80 cr from NCD issue
  Spandana Sphoorty Financial, the second-largest microfinance firm, has raised Rs 80 crore by issuing one year non-convertible debentures (NCDs) redeemable at a premium of 10%. Standard Chartered Bank India has subscribed to NCDs. The Hyderabad-based company also has a greenshoe option of Rs 220 crore.......
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 • Unitus Appoints Travelguru Co-founder as India Director
  Unitus Inc, a non profit organisation that works in the area of microfinance, has appointed Travelguru co-founder Ganesh Rengaswamy as its India Country Director. In his new role, Rengaswamy will head Unitus’s India microfinance initiatives, will manage the team of consultants, advice Unitus microfinance.......
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 • SKS Microfinance raises Rs.75 Crore via NCD route
  SKS Microfinance, a Hyderabad based Microfinance institution has raised Rs 75 crore by issuing one year non-convertible debentures (NCD) at a coupon rate of 10 percent. The NCDs are listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and have been placed with the Standard Chartered Bank's Foreign Institutional Investments (FII).......
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 • Spandana to raise Rs 300 cr
  The company, which lends to the poor, also plans to reach out to this segment by providing healthcare facilities. It is looking at setting up at least five maternity hospitals by the end of this fiscal, in what could be perhaps the first initiative by an MFI.......
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 • Can microfinance be a trend setter in MFs?
  Schemes with micro finance are basically meant for low-income households in rural and semi-urban areas. To reach their target audience, fund houses are also taking help of intermediaries like self-help groups or NGOs or micro credit institutions. SBIMF and UTIMF both have tied up with such organisations.......
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 • Micro Finance: Between profits and social impact
  The microfinance industry is fast becoming the 'next frontier' for the financial services industry. Universal banks are creating microfinance units on their existing platforms while independent operators in urban centres are erecting glass edifices in high-end locations to establish presence.......
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 • Banks take a hard look at lending to microfinance firms
  "The MFI industry has experienced record growth in the last few years. The economic output generation that this industry had funded is to a great extent responsible for driving the unabated growth in the rural economy," said Kumar Ashish, general manager at ICICI Bank who is in charge of the microfinance.......
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 • Microfinance finds favour with PE players
  “Microfinance is sufficiently insulated from the global financial downturn. Besides, this sector provides a good way for investors to diversify their portfolio at a time when the urban and manufacturing-related sectors are witnessing a slump,” Venture Intelligence Managing Director and CEO Arun Natarajan said.......
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 • IIFT students land dream jobs
  Be it the highest salary offer or the number of top corporate houses making a beeline for its students, the Kolkata campus of the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) has managed to throw in many surprises this placement season, despite the ongoing economic slump. The IIFT authorities said.......
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 • Nokia Life Tools To Launch In June; SKS Microfinance; N-Gage & Indian Developers For Ovi Store
  Nokia’s rural drive is underway with its Life Tools service completing the pilot stage in Maharashtra. It is set to launch commercially across the country in June. In November, the company had announced that Reuters Market Light will supply the content on agriculture - weather, prices.......
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 • MFIs offer home loans
  The rural home loan products are structured pretty much the same way as in the cities. The difference being the average loan amount. For MFIs, it ranges between Rs 50,000 and Rs 2 lakh with repayments being in equated monthly instalments (EMIs). Some like Madura Micro Finance also.......
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 • How the coming of credit bureaux will enhance operations of MFBs
  The problems associated with borrowing from microfinance banks (MFBs) by individuals and the cost of operations of the banks will soon be a thing of the past with the coming on board of credit bureaux in the Nigerian financial institutions. Since MFBs grant loan to financially.......
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 • Empowering graduates for self-employment
  A self-employment package for all graduates without the capital or the capacity to start their own businesses has been designed by Elim Microfinance Bank. The package called Elim Graduates Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Scheme (EGEES) was launched recently at the Yaba Polytechnic.......
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 • Buzz around India’s microfinance sector quietens
  .......a slowdown is an opportunity for MFIs to take stock of themselves, bolster governance and improve services such as financial literacy for customers. “The slowdown is a perfect time to focus back on quality and ensure the foundation is stronger before the next phase of growth,” says Ms Sarma of ABN-Amro........
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 • Microfinance outreach grew 40% in 2007-08: Report
  The microfinance institutions (MFIs) outreach grew by 40 per cent and credit portfolio outstanding by 72 per cent during 2007-08, a report on the microfinance sector in India has said. In its latest ‘Bharat Microfinance Report: Side by Side 2008’, Sa-Dhan,.......
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 • Microfinance sector can learn from the Aceh experience
  “If it worked in Aceh, it should work elsewhere,” said Mariano A. Cordero, team leader for the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) livelihood and microfinance subprojects, during a seminar, “Creating Sustainable Micro and Small Enterprises Financial Services” on Friday.......
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 • Exploring Career Opportunities for MBA’s in the NGO Sector
  On February 2nd 2009, Facebook chat happened between IIMA Placement Committee team represented by Vinod Padikkal and Dr. Nachiket Mor (President, ICICI Foundation), Niti Seth (Vice President - Recruitment, IFMR Trust) & Rahul Nainwal (Director, MITRA) to explore and discuss various career opportunities for MBAs in the NGO sector in India.......
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 • More than 100 Million of World's Poorest Benefit from Microcredit
  More than 106 million of the world’s poorest families received a microloan in 2007, surpassing the goal set 10 years earlier, according to a report released here on 26 January 2009 by the Microcredit Summit Campaign. Microloans are used to help people living in extreme poverty start or expand a range of tiny businesses such as cattle rearing, fruits or tea stalls, to name a few.......
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 • Orissa to get Rs 2,200-cr aid from World Bank
  In order to bring about a more inclusive growth in Orissa through improved transport and irrigation facilities, the World Bank has earmarked $444 million (around Rs 2,200 crore) assistance package for the state. The package comprises three projects that will aim to improve the state’s road network (with an allocation of $250 million or Rs 1,225 crore), its agricultural tank systems.......
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 • Bottom that is climbing up
  Anokhe Lal, tribal small farmer, lives in Pahatsara village, 18 kilometres from Bijadandi, 60 kms on the district road which connects Jabalpur to Mandla. He had got a loan from BASIX two years ago to buy a 5 HP diesel pumpset and 300 meters of collapsible pipeline. With the water, he grows peas, cauliflower, brinjal and carrots. He is expecting a good harvest and says that the prices in the Jabalpur.......
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 • SKS Microfinance ranked No. 1 MFI in India by mix mkt
  SKS Microfinance has been ranked as the number one MFI in the country and number 2 in the world in the annual composite rankings conducted by Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) Market, the world’s leading business information provider for the microfinance industry. The results, based on the performance in 2007 by 971 microfinance organizations across the world attempts to provide.......
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 • Shabby Apple Helps Women in Developing Countries
  Shabby Apple donates a portion of the proceeds from each dress sold and recently hosted "Couture for a Cause," a charitable fashion show to raise awareness for Unitus, their charitable partner. Couture for a Cause was held in Richmond, Virginia and included a fashion show and performances by local bands. Attended by several hundred people, the event's entrance fee went entirely to Unitus.......
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 • Metro Cash & Carry plans Rs900-crore investment in Punjab
  German wholesale retailer, Metro Cash & Carry, which had a presence in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai has now opened an outlet in Kolkata. The retailer's future plans include having a presence in North India and tying up with financial institutions in India to offer credit facilities to customers, which include restaurants, hotels, kiranas and miscellaneous traders. In order to have a presence.......
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 • From microfinance into microinsurance
  The financial services industry is facing unprecedented challenges worldwide due to excessive risk-taking. Complicated investment vehicles, insufficient transparency and excessive swapping of credit default risk have had a severe and pervasive impact on confidence. The world's most advanced markets for financial services are reeling in uncertainty. Standing in stark contrast to these.......
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 • Big microfinance firms taking over clients of smaller players
  SKS Microfinance Pvt. Ltd, a non-banking finance company (NBFC) that operates in the microfinance space, is acquiring customers of smaller firms in the business that are finding it difficult to lend as they have no money. Microfinance refers to the business of lending money to poor or low-income clients. SKS founder and chief executive officer Vikram Akula sees consolidation in the industry.......
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 • Vikram Akula to step down as CEO of SKS Microfinance
  In a country where mainstream banking system still eludes the poor, Vikram Akula built a successful enterprise — SKS Microfinance — by making finance available to the poor. Today, SKS is the fastest-growing microfinance institution in the world. Recently it raised Rs 366 crore — the largest PE investment in the world. Sandstone capital led the investment which included Kismet Capital and.......
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 • Leading Indian MFI Cashpor Adopts ClassifEye Secure Mobile Transactions Solution
  ClassifEye, a leading developer of secure fingerprint authentication technology, announced today that Cashpor India, one of India's leading microfinance institutions ("MFI") has adopted ClassifEye's innovative camera-phone-based transactions and authentication solution. This will help to facilitate broader financial inclusion, enabling Cashpor to broaden its customer base and allow their.......
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 • Globally microfinance invested $5 bn in last 5 yrs
  Over the past five years, microfinance has become one of the fastest-growing sectors in the global economy, as an estimated USD 5 billion of cross-border investment has flowed from the developed world into microfinance institutions worldwide. The funds originally came almost exclusively from the public sector.......
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 • Microfinance draws interest
  In a volatile economy, microfinance institutions are offering stable returns over the long term and have begun to draw investor interest. The quarter to September saw the most hectic venture capital action in microfinance yet, according to data collected by Venture Intelligence, which tracks such investments in the country.......
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 • Microfinance: Credit for the poor
  Robust economic growth cannot be achieved without putting in place well focused programmes to reduce poverty through empowering the people by increasing their access to factors of production, especially credit. The latent capacity of the poor for entrepreneurship would be significantly enhanced through the provision of microfinance services to enable them engage in economic activities.......
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 • Microfinance unscathed by financial crisis: Yunus
  The financial crisis has not hit the microfinance system, Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus said Thursday, as he called for tougher regulations to prevent such shocks in future. "One good news in the middle of all these bad news: microfinance still works. Not hit by the meltdown process," Yunus said at the sidelines.......
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 • Madura Micro Finance gets Rs 22cr from Unitus Equity Fund
  Madura Micro Finance Limited (MMFL), a leading Indian Microfinance Institution (MFI), has received a funding of Rs 22 Crores from the private equity investment firm Unitus Equity Fund L.P. (UEF). UEF makes strategic investments in high growth microfinance institutions and social enterprises and is managed by Elevar Equity LLC.......
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 • RBS with Planet Finance launches 3rd Microfinance Awards
  The Royal Bank of Scotland Group ("RBS"), together with Planet Finance India has announce the launch of Microfinance Process Excellence Awards (MPEA) 2008 - an award to recognize and reward Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) for their excellence in process optimisation and management. The awards will be categorised under the names Flint, Flame and Fire which will be based on the MFI sizes.......
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 • Microfinance: The new found business
  MICROFINANCE IS a provision by which funds are made available to poor people. Its aim is to provide service to those people who are away from the mainstream banks. It started as philanthropy but is slowly gathering commercial ground. The idea was discovered by Nobel Laureate Mohammed Yunus, three decades ago. The purpose was to improve the standard of living of low income groups.......
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 • When little money meets big aspirations
  A few decades ago, the poor got a taste of microfinance. It opted to teach the poor to fish instead of giving them food. In numbers so few that they were hardly noticeable, the poor started finding a way out of poverty. Today, there are millions who are benefiting from it. And the regulators and policymakers are beginning to take note of it. The poor have over the years found ways and means.......
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 • Stringent norms may strengthen microfinance sector
  The microfinance sector in India, which is presently growing around 130 per cent, is expected to get into the consolidation mode in the near future. The sector, which has lent close to Rs 10,000 crore, is moving aggressively to expand its operations. With tighter capital adequacy norms expected to come into place in 2009 and 2010, a whole lot of smaller Microfinance Institutions (MFI).......
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 • ALW private ltd. closes series B funding
  Legatum Ventures, which led the Series A investment in ALW, also invested in the new round. These investments, facilitated by Intellecap, will help the Company achieve its ambitious growth plans to set up a technology-driven 'Bank-in-a-Box' in every village and facilitate rural India's integration into the mainstream financial sector. The investment will also enable ALW to improve capacity.......
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 • Banks lap up MFIs' farm loans
  Private banks are increasingly buying the farm loan portfolio of micro-finance institutions (MFIs) in an attempt to meet the agriculture sector lending targets. Such transactions also help MFIs meet the capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of 12 per cent as their total asset base goes down after the sale. In addition, it assists banks meet the priority sector lending.......
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 • PNB’s Rajasthan drive targets 5 mn bank accounts for the poor
  State-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) plans to offer some 5 million accounts to poor families in Rajasthan, in line with the Union government’s aim to include the poor in the financial system. The bank has opened 1,05,000 accounts on Saturday, the first day of a Rajasthan government-sponsored project called the Bhamasha Financial Empowerment Scheme.......
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 • CMFIL to focus on un-banked population
  In order to provide a safe, secure and speedy way to store and transmit cash electronically, CMFIL has tied up with Zipp International Payment plc, an independent low cost pre-paid debit card and an international inclusive inter-change, supported by CBC, Global Business Council for United Nations, World Health Organisation and NePad (New Partnership for Africa).......
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 • Microfinance must embrace the free market
  Critics of increasing commercialisation propose a hybrid alternative combining non-profit and for-profit models. Advocates of this approach call for MFIs to return profits back to the poor in the form of lower rates. The 2006 Nobel laureate Mohammad Yunus, widely recognised as the founding father of modern microfinance, is perhaps the most prominent opponent of the idea of profits in microfinance.......
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 • IndusInd Bank closes Rs100 crore of microfinance receivables
  IndusInd Bank on Wednesday announced the closure of Rs100 crore assignment of microfinance receivables. The transaction, structured and arranged by Grameen Capital India, comprised a pool of advances to the agriculture and allied sectors. IndusInd Bank was assigned microfinance receivables totalling Rs150 crore. The first tranche of Rs100 crore was closed on 29 July 2008 and the second tranche.......
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 • AMC sale adds sheen to StanChart bottomline
  The bank’s operating profit stood at $606 million, which included the $146 million the bank received for the sale of its asset management company to Industrial Development Finance Co this March. Excluding the AMC sale proceeds, the bank’s operating profit shot up by 44% to $460 million and revenues 47% to $829 million. Corporate banking contributed $411 million and consumer.......
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 • SKS Microfinance's passbook to cash
  Well, for the advertisement possibilities it opens up. So far, those advertising in rural areas have had few choices beyond wall paintings. Since there is no way one would actually travel to the far-flung areas to verify the number of walls painted, it is largely the painter’s word that they have to go by. That makes the impact of the ad-spend doubly difficult to map.......
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 • Max New York Life launches Max Vijay
  IT service provider IBM and Max New York Life Insurance Company on Thursday announced the launch of an integrated solution for policy issuance and administration for Max Vijay, a new business initiative introduced by Max New York Life. IBM would help Max New York Life Insurance to deploy and transform its insurance policy processing platform and provide the end-to-end technology backbone.......
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 • Airtel-SKS Microfinance to extend telecom reach in rural AP
  Bharti Airtel Limited, India’s and Andhra Pradesh’s leading mobile service provider, today announced its strategic tie-up with SKS Microfinance, India’s largest and the fastest growing microfinance company in the world. The association is part of Airtel’s ambitious ‘Grameena Mobile Kranthi’ campaign to make mobile telephony available and affordable for rural consumers.......
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 • Crisil signs MoU with ICICI Foundation, IFMR Trust to rate MFIs, ULBs
  Rating agency Crisil has entered into an agreement with ICICI Foundation and IFMR Trust to rate micro finance institutions (MFIs), urban local bodies (ULBs) and help them develop into commercially viable entities. Under the agreement, Crisil will rate micro finance institutions (MFIs), urban local bodies (ULBs) and vocational training institutes to enable these entities to attract more.......
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 • Aviva targets bigger play in microinsurance
  Aviva Life Insurance is aggressively looking at microfinance insurance and aims to garner 10% of new business premium from this segment in calendar 2009. The company plans to tie up with microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country and will launch products this year with an emphasis on spouse covers, which will comprise one-third of its microinsurance portfolio. The company already has tie-ups.......
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 • World Bank to build on renovated home loans
  The World Bank is funding development of new financial instruments for providing home finance to the unorganised sector in the country in the light of the subprime crisis. According to the World Bank, there was confusion that the subprime crisis was caused by loans to low-income borrowers, when actually it was dangerous lending that caused the problem.......
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 • Bartronics steps up microfinance focus
  Sudhir Rao, managing director and chief executive officer, Bartronics India, told DNA Money, "Microfinance is driven by the smart-cards technology. We have been providing smart-cards for microfinance operations since the past one year. But the microfinance industry is expanding and so we see a demand for smart-cards expanding.......
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 • Srijan 2008 Microfinance Competition Awards Best Ideas for Reaching India’s Financially Excluded
  The competition ceremony itself was a grand culmination of over six months of preparation, mentoring and marketing on the part of the organizers and the participants. The plans presented included initiatives that provide microfinance services through various sustainable, holistic and scalable models, both stand alone as well as in combination with livelihoods, health,.......
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 • Bigger capital adequacy ratio to hit cos
  Higher capital adequacy ratio (CAR) mooted by RBI in it draft guidelines for non-banking financial companies (NBFC), including microfinance institutions (MFI), will put the organisations under pressure to boost their capital requirements by half to 15% by April 2009. MFIs in the country are highly leveraged since they are dependent on borrowings. They may find it difficult to bring in additional.......
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 • ABN Amro to scale up microfinance operations
  ABN Amro Bank aims to double its microfinance operations in India at Rs 600 crore as on March 31, 2009, up from Rs 300 crore in March last. The bank plans to use the business correspondent model in order to scale up its operations in the rural areas. “We do not have a significant presence in the rural areas, hence having business correspondents will help achieve the scale,” said Ms Moumita Sen Sarma.......
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 • Muhammad Yunus and the great promise of microfinance
  The great appeal of microfinance lies in the emphasis it places on the power of individuals to improve their own state and lift themselves out of poverty. Microfinance theory posits that the billions of the world’s poor are capable and productive but lack the financial tools necessary to realize their full potential. Microfinance institutions offer to the poor exactly the same kinds of loans.......
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 • SKS Microfinance set to raise capital by Rs 130 cr
  Blue chip microfinance lender SKS Microfinance is likely to induct a new investor next year to raise capital to meet its expansion plans. Its equity base stands at Rs 214 crore. Later this year, its equity will be ramped up by Rs 130 crore. It is planning to double its customer base in two years from its current 2.2 million borrowers. It may even plan a public issue later if required.......
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 • Yes Bank to add 5,000 customers this year
  New-age lender, Yes Bank, is set to ramp up its micro-finance operations by adding over 5,000 individual customers under its urban-micro finance programme by end-fiscal, a top official said. "We would take the urban micro-finance operations from three branches, presently, to five by the fiscal-end while the wholesale-lending under microfinance is also poised to grow fast.......
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 • Atom readies for a mobile big bang
  Atom Technologies, a 100% subsidiary of Financial Technologies, is betting on some serious bucks coming its way through proprietary mobile phone-based transaction systems. The company aims to clock a topline of Rs 10,000 crore in the next 3-4 years, said chief executive Niranjan Gosavi. "Want to watch a movie? Call up the theatre, pay through Atom's interactive voice response system that takes you.......
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 • Dena Bank reveals expansion plans
  Dena Bank is collaborating with Gujarat Green Revolution Co Ltd for drip irrigation and has signed an MoU with Microfinance Saving Support Foundation for introducing 'Zero Balance Accounts'. The bank is planning to tie-up with postal department in Gujarat to cover more customer, said Gairola. The pilot for the same is already on in Maharashtra's Appola and Amravarti districts.......
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 • Insurance cos beat Irda’s rural targets
  Insurance executives claim that firms also benefit from the low costs of distribution in rural areas. “Rural and social sectors policies are sold through a multi-channel approach, including hiring agents from villagers, and tie-ups with banks, non-governmental organizations and microfinance institutions. It helps us in saving around 10-15% of the distribution cost.......
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 • In NE, traditional credit bodies still going strong: study
  The formal banking system’s penetration in north-eastern India is quite poor, according to a study by the apex body of micro-finance institutions, Sa-Dhan. The region consists of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya. Though financial Markets do exist in the region, it is characterised by small and frequent requirement and is segmented.......
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 • Unitus Receives $9M Microfinance Grant from Omidyar
  Unitus, an organization working to accelerate access to microfinance in developing countries, received a $9 million grant Apr. 23 from the Omidyar Network to expand into several new regions beyond India over the next three years. This is the Omidyar Network’s largest microfinance grant to date. Microfinance institutions offer loans to the poor in developing countries.......
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 • How much does it cost to deliver and collect one rupee of microfinance?
  Chennai: The next big players in the economy, especially at the bottom of the pyramid, could well be the microfinance organisations. Reason: They provide the last-mile financial connectivity for people, and are equipped with the granular data about the beneficiaries.......
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 • HDFC Bank plans mobile banks for microfinance
  The bank was ready with the necessary software and to start with, mobile bank-cum-ATM would be introduced on trial basis in Coimbatore in a couple of months, K Manohara Raj, senior vice-president-microfinance, HDFC Bank, Chennai, told reporters here. The mobile bank would help microfinance clients with financial services such as credit, savings, insurance and remittances at their doorstep, he said.......
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 • NGOs struggle as they venture into microfinance
  Eight years after microfinance began to boom in India, there is more money available in the field than ever before. But, as Indian non-profit organizations (NGOs) follow the money and set up their own in-house microfinance units, many find themselves flailing. Some of this can be attributed to a lack of expertise, but there also appears to be something less tangible at play. Some call it the “NGO mindset”.......
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 • India has second-largest number of homegrown companies
  Of the 50 global homegrown champions, 21 had revenues exceeding $1-billion in 2006 and the entire group’s sales had risen by about 50% between 2005 and 2006, the report revealed. For instance, in India, Bharti Airtel has maintained its leadership in the booming telecom market by taking on Hutchison Telecom, which later sold its Indian operations to Vodafone in 2007. Among other examples, GCMMF, which markets.......
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 • PROFILE: Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, CEO, Bandhan
  Microfinance institute , Bandhan, is fresh from a home coming. The homecoming was to Bishalgarh in Tripura, to be precise, a year ago from its base in Kolkata. It was the place where Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, the founder of Bandhan, grew up with his brothers helping their father at the tiny sweet shop they had. Ghosh took Bandhan to Tripura in the first ever foray outside Bengal and that has been the beginning.......
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 • Bajaj Allianz ties up with SKS Microfinance
  Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance and SKS Microfinance have joined hands to launch a group insurance product for micro-finance organisations. The product, called Swayam Shakti Suraksha, offers protection and investment with flexibility and is designed on the lines of a standard endowment policy, a press release issued in Mumbai on Tuesday stated. Designed specially for members of SKS Microfinance, which is.......
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 • SKS Microfinance to offer solar lamps, groceries
  SKS Microfinance Private Limited is planning to sell solar lamps and groceries to its members apart from marketing GSM handsets for a service provider. The company is currently finalising the strategy for solar lamps. Speaking to Business Standard, SKS chief operating officer MR Rao said the company had shortlisted two solar lamp manufacturers and was working out the financial details. The solar lamps would be.......
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 • Annual Policy Conference on Microfinance
  The 2-day conference saw a focussed discussion on the issues and concerns of financial services including the poverty challenge in financial inclusion, scale of inclusion and challenge of human resources, scope and challenges of using technology for financial inclusion, role of community-based organization in changing the paradigm of the sector and most importantly, the debate over the Microfinance.......
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 • Home-grown VC aims to back local microfinance institutions
  Venture capital funding for urban microfinance received a big boost late last month when Lok Capital Llc., an India-focused private equity fund, announced a $1.25 million (about Rs5 crore) equity investment in New Delhi’s Satin Creditcare Network Ltd. Satin, a non-banking finance company, started in 1990 mostly as a professional alternative to a moneylender for urban small business. The investment.......
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 • Microfinance's potential in India is immense
  "The potential that microfinance holds in a country like India is immense," said chairman of Development Credit Bank (DCB), Naseer Munjee on Tuesday at Dediapada near Bharuch. DCB, one of the fastest growing private banks in India, had entered the microfinance with the launch of DCB Sahyog in 2007. In association with Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) the bank has dedicated a whole branch.......
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 • Muhammad Yunus on tech, profit and the poor
  Yunus is known for his visionary leadership in microfinance and helping the poor. He and the Grameen Bank he founded won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. Now he wants to see the tech industry work more explicitly to empower the poor. Yunus has just been awarded the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award by the Tech Museum of Innovation. The Tech Awards are to be presented in San Jose in November.......
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 • Your $25 can start a business, change a life
  The industry's assets total about $34 billion, according to Microfinance Information Exchange, and there are as many as 10,000 microfinancing institutions -- known as MFIs -- around the world, according to Microcredit Summit Campaign, a coalition of advocates, donor agencies and educational institutions. Some of the industry's contributors include Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, TIAA-CREF and J.P. Morgan.......
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 • MFI sun rising in the east
  Microfinance institutions are growing and they are moving to a more equitable spread across the country, away from their focus on southern India. And it is eastern India where the action is at its most exciting high, as a new report by Sa-Dhan underlines. Walk into any village in Bagdogra in Bengal. Walk into Bhujia Pani village not far away from the airport. The rickshaw puller who takes you to.......
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 • Nobel laureate Yunus unveils Bangladesh clean water deal
  "I wanted to make him understand how effective a tool microcredit is in helping the poor people, particularly the poor women, to take control of their own lives and pull themselves out of the problems and benefit the children," Yunus told reporters after his meeting at the Elysee palace. After meeting with Sarkozy, Yunus sat down with top business leaders at the Elysee including billionaire Vincent Bollore.......
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 • CEMAC call for modern and efficient services in Microfinance
  The importance role of microfinance in the development of the economies of Central African countries in particular and South Saharan countries in general need not to be over emphasize. But unfortunately the sector is not properly organized. According to a study carried out by Central African Banking Commission (COBAC) in collaboration with the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), only 677.......
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 • SKS Microfinance seeks to expand in north India
  SKS Microfinance, the country’s biggest microfinance entity, is drawing up ambitious plans to bolster its presence in north Indian, especially in Uttar Pradesh. By the end of 2009, SKS wants to increase its UP client base to 5 lakh from the existing 75,000 and increase its presence to 40 districts in the state from the current 18. “Uttar Pradesh has a population of about 10 crore.......
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 • Afghanistan favours Islamic microfinance
  Last year, the 34-year-old mother of three took a microfinance loan from the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) to expand her school. After successfully paying off her loan, Sharif’s loan officer encouraged her to use the skills she learned in Iran and open a beauty parlour in her neighbourhood, something which would have been inconceivable under the Taliban. Sharif immediately saw.......
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 • MokshaYug Access announces $2 mn funding
  It leverages on a franchising business model and microfinance network which seeks to aggregate demand by mobilizing rural customers and producers through microfinance groups. It will also aggregate supply by partnering with best-in-class companies and institutions. By focusing on its core competencies in procurement and buyback, employing technology-enabled franchises as a distribution.......
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 • Young turks line up for Wharton meet
  India’s young business turks are lining up in the company of former president APJ Abdul Kalam at the Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF). This time, with ‘India Imagine’ theme, Wharton appears to have gone after India’s young entrepreneurs from the country’s hottest sectors, from infrastructure to real estate and microfinance. The forum is expected to serve as the platform for Indian leaders to.......
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 • SKS Microfinance appoints Dilli Raj as CFO
  Hyderabad based SKS Microfinance Pvt.Ltd., the new generation microfinance company, today announced the appointment of Mr. Dilli Raj as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Raj brings in 17 years of treasury (fund raising), leasing, corporate credit, taxation, business process reengineering & corporate governance experience. He is an acknowledged leader in its ability and expertise in corporate tax planning.......
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 • Reliance Capital forays into microfinance
  Reliance Capital, the financial services arm of Reliance ADA group, has launched its microfinance initiative in partnership with two Gujarat-based microfinance institutions (MFIs). Reliance plans to fund MFIs in Gujarat and Maharashtra in the first phase and subsequently have a national presence. The company is joining hands with two Gujarat-based microfinance institutions — MAS Financial Services.......
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 • Kenya: Microfinance Gurus Who Do It All for Love
  Rosemary Kantai and Lucy Nguru are passionate about micro finance and although modest about their careers they have left an indelible mark on the industry. They both spent over a decade of their working lives helping to build the Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT), into one of the largest microfinance institutions with a country wide network and in the process improved the lives of thousands of women.......
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 • Taking Microfinance to the Next Level
  Yunus was far from the only devotee of microfinance, though. In 2001 a pair of Europeans, Jean-Philippe de Schrevel and Cédric Lombard, discovered they shared a mutual conviction that the best way to cure poverty is through the capital markets. So they began lending money to microfinance institutions through a Geneva vehicle called BlueOrchard. Belgian de Schrevel.......
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 • Dhan bid for uplifting rural India getting boost
  The women are now going beyond microfinance and are addressing other development needs such as health, education etc. Village tanks and ponds occupy a significant position in irrigation and local ecosystem in South India. They sustained farming activities. Neglect of these precious water resources led to a decline in their performance as assets and badly affected the livelihood of the community.......
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 • MicroPlace: Microfinance for the Masses
  Working for the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh in the 1990s, Tracey Pettengill Turner saw first hand how microfinance works to lift people out of poverty. What she also learned was how microfinance can be a profitable investment. In October 2007, Turner and eBay launch the first of its kind MicroPlace, a website where investors can chose to invest in microfinance institutions (MFIs) in specific areas.......
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 • Championing financial inclusion: M2i founders chase a dream
  One compelling area to look at was the fledgling industry of microfinance, banking for the marginal sections of the society. It was not yet mature, but had all the ingredients of any mainstream industry, they believed. A college project on rural finance and insurance convinced them that there was a need for professional intervention to take banking to the excluded masses.......
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 • Yunus takes microfinance to New York
  On the second floor of a run-down building in Queens, squeezed between a sari boutique and a tiny store selling Bollywood DVDs, are two rooms – rented for $1,500 a month – whose occupants have been sent from Bangladesh to end poverty in the US. These are the offices of the first US outpost of the Grameen Bank, an organisation set up by Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel peace prize winner, and credited.......
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 • SKS Microfinance to expand network across Bihar
  SKS Microfinance, one of the world’s leading microfinance companies, plans to expand its operations to cover most districts in Bihar and reach out to 3 lac poor households by March, 2009. SKS started operations in Bihar in July 2006 and presently has a membership base of 70,000 poor households across 26 districts. It has three area offices in Gaya, Bhagalpur and Patna and 50 branch.......
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 • $125m Catalyst loan to ASA for overseas operations
  Catalyst Microfinance Investors (CMI) will provide US$ 125 million to one of Bangladesh's leading micro-finance institutions, ASA, to fund its rapid establishment and growth in Asia and Africa. An agreement to this effect was signed recently between CMI and ASA, sources said. The CMI has managed the fund from leading international institutional and private investors -- ABP, a Dutch pension fund.......
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 • Micro financing and success imperatives
  Microfinance has been acknowledged as an effective tool for meaningful development. Muhammad Yunus, that icon of poverty lending, calls it “development from the bottom. Increasing literature on microfinance point to the fact that access to financial services enables poor households and owners of micro-enterprises to move from every day struggle for survival to planning for the future.......
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 • SKS Microfinance Signs Pact With Five IT Majors
  SKS Microfinance, one of the world’s leading microfinance companies has entered into an alliance with IT majors Compulink, HCL, Microsoft, Tulip IT, and Wipro InfoTech. The new IT infrastructure is aimed at helping SKS achieve its ambitious goal of expanding outreach from its current base of 650 branches serving 17 lakh poor households to 1500 branches serving 40 lakh poor households by March 2009.......
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 • MicroPlace Thinks Big to Alleviate Global Poverty through Microfinance
  Microfinance, an investment vehicle for lending money to the working poor across the globe, has been grabbing the attention of socially responsible investors everywhere since its inception during the 1970s and 1980s. MicroPlace emerged onto the scene of the growing microfinance industry in the summer of 2006 as the first and only broker-dealer specializing in microfinance securities.......
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 • Microfinance initiatives take health insurance to the poor
  Microfinance institutions (MFIs) such as SKS Microfinance, Basix—both Hyderabad-based—and the Kath-ir Foundation of Tamil Nadu are gearing up to provide health insurance products to the rural and urban poor. These MFIs are entering into partnerships with private sector insurers to offer micro health insurance to families which do not have access to formal credit and cannot afford expensive.......
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 • NABARD to support SHG federations
  Being a major player in microfinance, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has already played a role by organising more than 3 million credit linked SHGs in the country and considering the emerging role of the SHG federation and their value addition to SHG functioning and to smoothen the process of promotion of SHG federation, NABARD has now come out with policy.......
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 • SKS Microfinance raises Rs 147 cr via equity sale
  Vikram Akula-promoted SKS Microfinance has recently raised Rs 147 crore through a third round of equity infusion. The investors include two new US-based strategic players, Silicon Valley Bank and Columbia Pacific, apart from the existing players like Sequoia Capital, Vinod Khosla and Odyssey Capital. Silicon Valley Bank is a financial services company which is focused on entrepreneurial.......
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 • Rehabilitation, microfinance bill likely in budget session
  Referring to the government's expansion plan for microfinancing through self-help groups, Singh said the proposed Microfinance Bill would easily make available financial assistance to targeted groups covered under the Swaranjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY). There are 2.7 million such groups comprising members from poor families, out of which only 0.5 million are engaged in economic.......
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 • The Microcredit Miracle
  Last year the power of microcredit was globally recognized when Mohammad Yunus and his creation the Grameen Bank received the Nobel Peace Prize for their incredible work giving life-changing funds to the world's poorest. The world also recognized the hope that it gives to the poor receiving the funds as they work tirelessly to end their own poverty and regain their dignity. The full impact of.......
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 • Microfinance business to touch $2 bn by 2009
  However, over a year ago after her husband’s death, Laxmi’s life was in a shambles until she took a loan of Rs 6,000 from SKS Microfinance to start this business. She’s among millions of others in India who have benefited from the microfinance wave. Till a couple of years ago, it was just another non-profit mechanism for social change, dominated by NGOs and donor-driven organisations.......
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 • 60% of Indians lack financial accessibility
  Around 60% of India’s population was deprived of access to financial institutions, a top official of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) said on 23 January. In most of the developed countries, this ‘financial exclusion´ was however less than 15%, said A Ramanathan, chief general manager, NABARD, while inaugurating a three-day international conference on ‘Micro Finance.......
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 • Revolving fund now for urban SHGs
 
Extending the reach of the self-help group (SHG) movement to improve the lives of the urban poor, Local Administration Minister M.K. Stalin will hand over a revolving fund of Rs.10,000 each to 2,000 urban SHGs here on January 22. This is the first time that urban SHGs are being given revolving funds. So far, this fund and another Rs.15,000 bank credit (for each SHG) were available only.......

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 • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Gives $100,000 Sponsorship to Microfinance Magazine MICROFINANCE INSIGHTS
 
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Microfinance Insights, the quarterly flagship publication of the Indian investment and consulting firm Intellecap, have entered into a partnership to build an inclusive and sustainable financial sector through the development and dissemination of domain knowledge. SDC has played an important role in advancing policy debate for the microfinance.......

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 • Microfinance firms could avail of i-banking services
 
Grameen Capital has a total capital base of Rs 5 crore and intends to offer fee-based investment banking (I-banking) services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) in India. It would also help local and global investors identify the right kind of MFIs in which they could invest, depending on their risk profiles. This could bring in a wide range of investors into the microfinance.......

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 • The micromagic of microcredit
 
Hundreds of millions of dollars are flowing into microfinance from international financial institutions, foundations, governments, and, most important, private investors, who increasingly see microfinance as a potentially profitable business venture. Private investment through special "microfinance investment vehicles" alone nearly doubled in 2005, from $513 million to $981 million.......

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 • Technology driving microfinance in emerging countries
  The report cited Indonesia’s Danamon bank and India’s ICICI bank as users of biometric and smart card technologies to alleviate the high cost of microfinance administration as well as the expansion of microfinance distribution points.......
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 • More microfinance initiatives key to financial inclusion
  The microfinance sector has emerged as an effective strategy for addressing poverty and empowering the poor – mainly women in Rajasthan. The progress of various micro finance initiatives to catalyze this sector in the last 5-6 years has been laudable indeed.......
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 • Asian banks go micro with biometrics
  "Banks in Indonesia and India have emerged as leaders in deploying innovative technologies to grow their microfinance businesses," said Abhishek Kumar, senior research analyst of Financial Insights' Asia-Pacific banking advisory service. "These banks have shown that technologies like biometrics and smart cards, can be successfully deployed.......
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 • Tap fledgling microfinance business
  “In the last two years, the Indian microfinance industry attracted a lot of large institutional players. Bankers have been increasingly talking about financial inclusion and no-frills accounts. The intent within government circles is to reach banking services to the unbanked. MFIs are in the best position to cover.......
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 • Smart Cards from Janalakshmi for Microfinance
  Bangalore based urban microfinance institution - Janalakshmi Bank has deployed an end to end core banking smart card solution. The card will enable traders have anytime access to the trading floor without carrying real cash and expensive loan arrangements through money-lenders.......
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 • The changing face of microfinance funding
  In the three decades since Muhammed Yunus gave his first $27 loans to women in Chittagong, Bangladesh, the microfinance industry has come a long way. What began as a collection of individual non-governmental organisations funded by development donors has become a professional business offering not just credit, but a full range of banking services to poor people.......
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 • IIM-A to usher in 2008 with poverty solutions
  But in an initiative that could make microfinance the new buzzword during summer and final placements, 25 students from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, (IIM-A) are set to work with top business houses in the country including Reliance Industries, Tata Chemicals, Fab India, ICICI, ITC, Godrej Agrovet, Mahindra and Mahindra and Basix India to develop innovative and competitive models of business towards poverty alleviation.......
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 • Over 30 cr Indians could do with microfinance
  Although microfinance institutions (MFIs) expanded their customer base in 2006 on an average by around 23 per cent, with the volume of their loans having risen sharply in recent years to $25 billion last year from around $4 bn in 2001, the microfinance industry is still unable to meet more than a fraction of today’s potential borrowers’ demand., a study by Deutsche Bank Research says.......
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 • Profit And Poverty: Why It Matters
  Through the ages, we have come to associate profit with greed and serving the poor with self-sacrifice. Accordingly, now that the outstanding performance of leading microfinance banks has inserted banking at the base of the pyramid as an integral part of emerging-markets finance, socially conscious investors are starting to agonize over earning returns while serving the poor.
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 • Microfinance Fever
  A lot of people are chasing returns in barefoot banking. Here's what you should know before you follow.
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 • Bill Gates to take up micro-finance projects
  The foundation set up by computer giant Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates are in the process of finalising microfinance projects in India through the medium of chitty companies.
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 • No Silver Bullets? The Online Funding Revolution and Microfinance Sector
  Now, online lending sites such as Kiva and NamasteDirect give everyone a chance to help fight global poverty and, in the words of one new investor, "teach people how to take a small investment, grow their business, and eventually become self-sufficient."
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 • SKS Microfinance enters Kerala
  Hyderabad-based SKS Microfinance plans to reach out to 7,000 poor households across Kerala by providing them with income generating loans in the current fiscal.
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 • MicroPlace Adds India to Roster of Microfinance Investment Opportunities
  For the first time, everyday people can make investments in India's working poor by leveraging the power of microfinance, and earn a return on their investment.
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 • Does Microfinance Need Regulators? Nobel Laureate Yunus Thinks So...
  Speaking at the event -- and also in an interview with India Knowledge@Wharton -- Yunus pointed out that while microfinance in India has lots of growth potential, regulatory changes are required and an independent regulator needs to be set up to monitor cases of abuse.
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 • Grameen Foundation Engineers More Than $100 Million in Local Currency Financing for Microfinance in Ten Countries
  Grameen Foundation, a leader in microfinance, today announced that its Growth Guarantee program has crossed an important milestone in its drive to foster increased local currency financing for microfinance institutions. With the recent closing of two innovative transactions for Kashf Foundation of Pakistan.......
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 • Rotary willing to promote microcredit groups
  The goals of Rotary International and microcredit went hand in hand. It was possible for Rotary Clubs to easily incorporate a microcredit programme into the work they were already implementing, Mr.Wilkinson said. He said he was particularly proud of the work Rotarians had been doing in India in the attempt to eradicate poverty.
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 • ‘Success rate of IFC-supported private projects in India at 72%’
  IFC is investing risk capital to promote the growth of commercial microfinance in India. It invested $1.6 million in Aavishkaar Microfinance and has taken a $5-million equity stake in Financial Information Network and Operations.
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 • Microfinance to curb farmer suicides
  Hence, micro finance is an effective tool for poverty alleviation. So it's popular." Indicating that those who secured smaller loans and had lesser risk appetite were better equipped to establish successful businesses.
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 • Women's World Banking and NABARD to Host Training Course on Individual Lending, December 6-8, In Lucknow, India
  The three day skill-building workshop will provide microfinance practitioners from India and surrounding regions with an in-depth understanding of the requirements and challenges to introducing individual lending, and will draw on WWB's extensive global experience helping microfinance institutions implement individual lending products.
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 • Going Dutch: Eying minority stakes in banks
  That perhaps is another reason why Rabobank is bullish on microfinance for small farmers and rural communities . In Africa, it has an exposure of more than $100 million in microfinance. “Microfinance is not a commercial business but it can be useful in helping to create a fully fledged banking business, and developing a better agriculture ecosystem,”
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 • TCS to launch smart cards for microfinance
  According to Vidyasagar, TCS’ solution is aimed at tapping the potential of microfinance and extending a broader range of financial services to the people in rural areas. “This will help the banks in achieving financial inclusion in the long-run,” he said.
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 • Government provides micro-finance to 600,000 women
  The government has provided micro-finance to at least 600,000 women across the country to empower them economically, said Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury Friday.
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 • IGS eyes ‘poorer’ terrains to meet micro finance targets
  Indian Grameen Services (IGS), the research and development wing of the BASIX group, is planning to penetrate its credit and business operations into Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh and parts of Rajasthan.
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 • NGOs Use Microfinance to Channel Water to Urban Poor
  WaterPartners workers with eight partner non-profit groups, including two microfinance institutions, to provide water and sanitation in rural and urban communities in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and in Delhi. It launched the water credit program by distributing $1 million, donated by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, to its partner organizations.
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 • Is the MFI bill missing something?
  The microfinance bill, which is under consideration of the parliamentary standing committee on finance, needs to be amended in several important respects. One of these relates to savings. By allowing microfinance NGOs registered as societies, trusts and cooperatives to accept the savings of their members, the microfinance bill takes an important step forward.
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 • Micro-finance can be an enabler to achieve goals: Prince Willem
  Prince of Orange Willem-Alexander, who chairs the United Nations’ Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, said the U.N. proposes to declare next year the International Year of Sanitation to focus attention on global health, dignity and awareness about sanitation.
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 • Small MFIs catch private equity investors' eye
  With the top four microfinance institutions (MFIs) in India having received their share of investments, investors are slowly shifting their focus towards smaller institutions. For starters, Fullerton India has advanced a line of credit worth Rs 25 crore to SE Investments, a Delhi-based microfinance institution.
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 • Urban poor need microfinance for livelihoods
  According to the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, an international consortium of development agencies, people with access to savings, credit, insurance and other financial services are more resilient and better able to cope with everyday crisis.
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 • eBay site lets people finance the world's poor
  EBay Inc, the world's largest online auctioneer and payments company, launched on Wednesday a Web site allowing ordinary investors to buy securities aimed at improving conditions in the world's poorest countries.
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 • Rangarajan for NBFC status to microfinance institutions
  C Rangarajan, chairman of Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (EAC), has said that microfinance institutions should be recognised as non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) in order to be regulated.
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 • Blackstone, Carlyle eye microfinance firms
  Private equity interest in microfinance institutions (MFIs) is reaching a crescendo with heavyweights such as Blackstone and Carlyle willing to invest in the sector. Both these groups have shown interest in putting money into MFIs, said a source close to the development. The quantum of investments may be upwards of $20 million.
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 • IBM Partners With Grameen Foundation to Expand Its Open Source Microfinance Banking Platform and Help Eradicate Poverty
  IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Grameen Foundation announced a collaborative project to help microfinance institutions (MFIs) better serve poor communities around the world by expanding Mifos, Grameen Foundation's ground-breaking open source microfinance software platform.
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 • Govt to set up two funds on microfinance
  A Rs 100-crore microfinance development fund has already been set up by the Centre. The Finance Minister said there is no clarity on the government role in the microfinance sector. "It is not yet clear what should the government do, what shouldn't the government do, what should the government regulate and what it shouldn't regulate," he said.
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 • Targeting the unbanked in India will be lucrative
  Last week, ABN Amro Bank announced its microfinance division has succeeded in providing basic financial support to some 500,000 underprivileged households in India. The Dutch bank’s microfinance portfolio is now Rs200 crore and, according to Romesh Sobti, ABN Amro’s country executive in India, it will double the coverage to a million households by 2009.
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 • Foreign investors dial microfinance in India
  Almost 65 microfinance institutions (MFIs) have been shortlisted as investees. About 15 international and national investors will set up shop at the conference to interact with the MFIs, scheduled next week.
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 • FAQS about Microfinance
  Microfinance refers to small-scale financial services for both credits and deposits that are provided to people who farm or fish or herd; operate small or microenterprises where goods are produced, recycled, repaired, or traded; provide services;
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 • Code of conduct for micro-finance cos likely
  The solution to issues such as excess lending, multiple borrowing and staff poaching which are worrying the microfinance industry, may come in the form of a code of conduct, according to a top official of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
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 • SKS Microfinance to raise fresh funds of Rs 120 cr
  SKS Microfinance, a leading micro-finance institution that provides financial services to the poor, will raise fresh funding from its present equity investors. The company is also in talks with a few potential investors for diluting its equity.
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 • CAM man wins global recognition; blends tradition, technology
  CAM can be used for coordinating procurement, monitoring production, disseminating farming and post-harvest practices, tells Tapan Parikh, the 2007 Humanitarian of the Year.
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 • Reconsider Nabard as the microfinance regulator
  Subsequently, the microfinance consensus guidelines were evolved and adopted by CGAP’s donor agencies. The guidelines recommend that as far as possible, the regulation should be focused on the type of transaction and not the type of institution undertaking it.
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 • Fullerton India plans to double equity capital expand network
  “We will be present in all the districts in the country,” he said adding that FICCL would explore the possibility of a tie-up with microfinance institutions or self-help groups when it rolls out its second phase of rural credit disbursement plan.
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 • IFC to invest $1.1 b in India
  IFC, in association with Netherland's Development Finance Company (FMO) and Deutsche Bank had announced a joint investment in the microfinance private equity company Aavishkaar Goodwell, in July this year.
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 • Savita Shankar: Pluses and minuses of Micro Finance Bill
  On the positive side, the Bill attempts to introduce a certain amount of accountability to the sector by requiring mandatory registration of microfinance organisations (MFOs). It introduces the prospect of MFO inspection which could improve consumer protection in microfinance.
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 • DCB microfinance set for September launch
  Development Credit Bank (DCB) is all set to announce its entry into the micro finance market by opening a branch in Dadiapada, Gujarat on September 11, 2007.
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 • Private Equity funds take a liking for micro-finance institutions
  MUMBAI: Private equity funds with a special focus on micro finance institutions have lined up billions of dollars for the sector in India.....
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 • Micro-finance body comes to the aid of rural women
  Established in 1991, KDS is a micro-finance institution (MFI) which aims to eradicate poverty. It provides technical and financial assistance to rural women ...
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 • Borrowers benefit of MFI competition
  In an era of rising interest rates, microfinance institutions have decided to absorb the higher cost of funds themselves, thanks to competition.
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 • Renuka for un-biased microfinance
  SAARC countries should adopt gender-friendly lending system to aid in economic empowerment of women, Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury said on Friday. Inaugurating a conference of SAARC nations on microfinance for women, Chowdhury said gender-biased practices were prevalent in the microfinance industry and there were difficulties for individual entrepreneur women in getting loans.
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 • Microfinance on radar
  Recent times have seen a clutch of deals in the MFI space involving PE funds. JM Financial India Fund – a $225 million PE fund sponsored by JM Financial – Old Lane Partners and Delhi-based Lok Capital – a Mauritius-based microfinance venture capital fund – together have invested $12 million in Spandana, a leading MFI.
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 • ‘What We Need Now Is a Henry Ford of Microfinance’
  “We need somebody who is able to master the technology to transform something that today is very high in per-unit cost. It is very difficult to apply to everybody, but the reward would be enormous because there are at least 2.5 billion people who need financing and cannot afford it according to standard methods. We need to find a production process to make finance affordable for them.”
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 • Microfinance growing fast in South Asia: World Bank report
  Micro-Finance movement has really taken off in South Asia. According to a recent World Bank report, microfinance today meets around 15 per cent of the overall credit requirements of low-income families. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are leading the movement, while India falls under medium coverage category.
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 • Nabard to launch arm for microcredit
  The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) is launching a non-banking financial company (NBFC) targetting the microcredit space in the country. Christened as Nabard Financial Services (Nabfins), the new institution will have an authorised capital of Rs 100 crore and an issued capital of Rs 20 crore.
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 • Micro-finance needs soft norms, tough monitoring
  The ever increasing rate of failure of urban co-operative banks in recent years has made prudential regulation and supervision of micro-finance institutions crucial, to protect the financial system as a whole, particularly the small depositor.
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 • Microfinance rates to rise
  The juggernaut of rising interest rates is now about to sweep the microfinance sector. ICICI Bank’s microfinance associate, KAS Foundation, has already hiked its lending rate, and other major institutions say they too may have to follow suit.
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 • Legatum Invests US$4.5Mln in FINO to Support Microfinance Technology Development
  Legatum, a private firm that invests in capital markets and in initiatives that support human and social development, announced today the completion of its investment, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Coronet Capital Limited, of INR 18 crore (US$4.5 million) in Financial Information Network and Operations Pvt. Ltd. (“FINO”).
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 • Dubai’s Legatum invests Rs125 cr in Share Microfin, picks 51% stake
  In the second major investment by a foreign investor in an Indian microfinance firm, Legatum Capital, a Dubai-based privately-owned finance firm, committed a $25 million (Rs125 crore) investment in Share Microfin Ltd, a Hyderabad-based microfinance institution which is India’s largest.
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 • Lending a Hand and a Little Bit More
  Small loans are allowing many individuals to move away from simply subsisting to a more financially stable existence. A long line of women extends down the staircase of the Ariana Financial Services Group (AFSG) office in Kabul. The women are eagerly waiting to collect their small business loans.
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 • The History of Microfinance
  The concept of microfinance is not new. Savings and credit groups that have operated for centuries include the "susus" of Ghana, "chit funds" in India, "tandas" in Mexico, "arisan" in Indonesia, "cheetu" in Sri Lanka, "tontines" in West Africa, and "pasanaku" in Bolivia, as well as numerous savings clubs and burial societies found all over the world.
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 • ICICI MF launches small investment plan for rural market
  ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund on 25 April launched ‘micro systematic investment plan’ (MSIP) in association with KAS Foundation, a micro-finance institution, to offer a mutual fund investment plan which allows a rural investor to take exposure to the booming stock market for as little as Rs50 every month.
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 • Big career in small money
  Did you always want to work for the social sector but were apprehensive that you wouldn't be able to make a living out of it? Well, then try a career in microfinance. And if you are looking for inspiration, don't look too far—Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh and Vikram Akula of SKS India, one of the largest microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country, are just two of the many who are making a difference to millions of lives.
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 • Microcredit crosses over to Sunderbans region in West Bengal
  The Bangladeshi Nobel Laureate, Mohammad Yunus’ model of micro credit has been his inspiration. But Swami Shuddhananda Brahmachari, the founder president of socio-religious organisation, Loknath Divine Life Mission (LDLM), has tread a different path to bring micro credit to the remotest and poorest belts of Sunderbans region in West Bengal.
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 • ICICI ties up for low-cost housing finance
  ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, is close to signing a partnership with US-based Development Innovations Group (DIG) for providing low-cost housing finance and also for microfinancing solutions.
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 • Development Credit Bank(DCB) to ramp up microfinance
  The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development-promoted Development Credit Bank (DCB) is all set to go rural after achieving the priority sector lending target in 2007-08. The Mumbai-based small private bank has been falling short of the requirement of having to lend 40 per cent of their total advances to priority sectors which include agriculture and home loans.
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 • ICICI to step up microfinance term lending
  ICICI Bank, the largest lender to microfinance institutions (MFIs), is stepping up its direct term lending to meet the funding needs of MFIs until it resumes the flow of funds under the partnership model of micro lending.
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 • Global fin giants to go micro in India
  India’s growing microfinance segment may soon see the entry of global financial services giant, Morgan Stanley and the Switzerland-based Blue Orchard Finance.
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 • Giving credit where it's due
  When I stepped out of my classroom at Chittagong University 30 years ago and into Jobra, the village next to my campus, I had only one goal in mind: to see if I could be of service to a few starving human beings.
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 • Microfinance can fund rural India's mobile dreams
  Aware that the next chunk of growth in the mobile space would come from rural markets, handset manufacturers are looking at microfinancing to increase sales in rural India. The concept is in its initial stages with some starting pilot projects.
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 • How is microfinance changing the face of rural India?
  The understanding that providing financial services to the poor is essential is not new in India. Since independence, the Indian government has made various efforts from encouraging expansion of the commercial bank branch network into rural and semi-urban areas, creation of local subsidiary banks known as regional rural banks, and promoting lending to key.....
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 • What's next for microfinance?
  Indian MFIs have the highest financial expense ratio (8.5 per cent) in the world. Currently, there are about 800 MFIs and 22 lakh government-backed self-help groups (SHGs) that are the principal sources of microfinance.
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 • Credit should be accepted as human right: Yunus
  Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus wants the rural population in the Indian subcontinent to take a sip from the ocean of money around them that they have no access to through conventional systems of banking.'We live in an ocean of money but poor people do not have a sip of that. We in Grameen Bank tried to offer that sip to the poor,' he said at a gathering here organised by the South Asia Research Society to felicitate him Monday evening.
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 • Nobel Laureate Mohd Yunus's debt removal idea
  Muhammad Yunus, is not glib or strident like many a social activist but his refreshing perspective on the concerns of the day and faith in ordinary people kept people glued to his talk in Delhi. Indebtedness has driven farmers to suicide in Maharashtra's Vidharba region, but the banker to the poor says faced with a similar predicament he would try a different track.
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 • Sowing self help
  The formula for women’s empowerment and poverty alleviation had never been so simple. Throw 20 women into a self help group, make them save a rupee a month till they have proved themselves dependably credit worthy, hand them a loan four times their deposit, which would not be more than a thousand odd rupees. That is it. The women have been raised above poverty, they have also been empowered. Nirvana.
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 • Corporates must get into microfinancing
  Mr Yunus asked the Indian industry to get into microfinance activities and urged the government to enable a legal framework for promotion of ‘social business’ in the country.
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 • Yunus wants Sonia to open microcredit banks for women
  Nobel Laureate, Mr Muhammad Yunus wants to open a non-profit microcredit institution for women in India that could be headed by Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi. Although the government has not officially agreed, it is positive to the idea, said party insiders.
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 • Microfinance as a Social Business
  Microfinance as 'social business' can become viable with institutional support in form of legal status and a regulator monitoring over them. But, remember, a social business is merely a non-loss and non-dividend business, but it definitely is not meant to be devoid of best business practices. Being a business it should have in-built mechanisms to adjust itself with the market.
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 • Banking conclave held at SCMHRD
  The Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development(SCMHRD), with its Banking Conclave 2007 brought together the industry Bigwigs imparting views, opinions and criticism on the burning topics of New Age Banking - Microfinance and Basel-II norms.
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 • Reliance, Bharti may storm Microfinance
  Reliance Retail and Bharti, which has joined hands with Wal-Mart, could storm the micro-credit space as they look to establish rural supply chain linkages to service their mega retail forays.
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 • Muthoot Fincorp partners WWB for Microfinance play
  The buzz about microfinance is getting louder. South India’s leading NBFC, Muthoot Fincorp, is re-orienting itself as a microfinance entity in a strategic partnership with Women’s World Banking (WWB) .
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 • JK Bank launches microfinance in Jammu
  Under its microfinance programme, Jammu and Kashmir Bank has started an ambitious programme to provide hassle free financial assistance to small businesses, like artisans, agri-business activities and others at cheaper rates.
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 • Microfinance bill puts Nabard in regulatory seat
  A new microfinance law is underway, with the Union Cabinet on Friday (23rd Feb. 2007) clearing the bill despite an opposition from some official quarters citing lacunae in it. The bill will be tabled in the current session of Parliament.
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 • A ‘Micro’ Alternative to Traditional Banking Jobs
  Different players in Microfinance sector attract employment with different educational backgrounds. As the sector has grown, MFIs have sought professionals with deeper financial backgrounds. In India, the number of organization involved in such loans, which are better known as MFIs, Microfinance Institutions, are more than 200 MFIs presently and increasing at a fast pace.
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 • Microfinance can become global model
  The Nobel Committee's well-deserved recognition of Dr. Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank with this year's prestigious Peace Prize marks a significant milestone in society's quest for peace.
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 • Infosys, TCS, Wipro go slow on hiring
  Attrition in top-tier IT companieshas seen a sharp decline over the past year, indicating a slowdown in hiring of mid to senior level IT professionals in the current tough business climate. Wipro's attrition rate has dropped sharply to 14.6% in the September quarter from the 21-22 % rates in the first half of the last financial year.TCS, the country's largest IT company, saw the rate dip to 11.4% in the most recent quarter, from 14.8% in the June quarter of last year. Mindtree's has dropped in the same period from 25.6% to 16.5%. Saurabh Govil, senior VP-HR in Wipro Technologies, said voluntary attrition (attrition that excludes firing) in the company touched a 36-month low at 12% in the September quarter. "The tough environment is helping us to keep attrition levels low; jobs aren't available and companies are going slow on all fronts," he said. Ravi Shankar, chief people officer in Mindtree, said attrition had softened as companies were hiring more freshers than lateral hires. "We are looking at ways to improve utilization on the bench," he said. The IT sector has slowed down sharply because of economic weakness in the US and Europe. The industry's apex body Nasscom last week lowered the dollar revenue guidance for the $100 billion industry on account of underperformance by several of the big companies , notably Infosys and Wipro . Nasscom in February had predicted an 11-14 % growth, but last week said it was likely to be at the lower end of this range. The unexpectedly sharp slowdown this year has also meant that companies have large reserves of unutilized employees, or what in industry parlance is called the bench. In many cases, 30% or more of employees are on the bench today . There are campus recruits from last year who are yet to work on a project. HCL's head of talent acquisition Naveen Narayanan said the company was deploying people on the bench for customer build programmes, involving high degree of engagement with the client. "This gives them confidence and we support them through a defined reskilling programme ," he said. Some companies say attrition has dropped for them because of special efforts to retain people.Mindtree said it had put in place a retention council headed by senior management within each business unit to address employee woes. "They address non-compensation related problems, issues like role change, upgradation of skills. We've seen a large percentage of attrition getting reversed through this process," Shankar said. HCL's Narayanan said programmes to identify top performers among entry level and supervisory roles and to put them through leadership training had helped rein in attrition. Rajesh Kumar, CEO of recruitment service provider MyHiringClub.com, said attrition levels were expected to be in the 13-15 % range in the current quarter, and may be fall further in the final quarter. www.techgig.com
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 • Microsoft to drop Messenger, switch to Skype
  NEW YORK: Microsoft is dropping its instant-messaging program and forcing most users to switch to Skype. Maintaining Windows Live Messenger made less sense after Microsoft Corp. bought Skype for $8.5 billion last year. A new version of Skype released a few weeks ago allows users to sign in with a Microsoft account. By merging the two services, people won't have to maintain two separate contact lists. Microsoft says much has changed in how people communicate. There's more use of text messaging and social networking. Microsoft says that Messenger users who switch to Skype will get benefits such as the ability to call landline and mobile phones and better support on mobile devices. Except for mainland China, Messenger will be discontinued worldwide after the first quarter of 2013. techgig.com
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