INTERNATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

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Firms Investing in Social Sector Have Deployed $1.6 bn in India Since 2000

Sectors like microfinance institutions (MFIs), financial inclusion (non-MFI) and healthcare together received 82% of the investment. The microfinance sector got 54%, followed by financial inclusion and healthcare at 17% and 11% respectively.

Smart starts mobile microfinance operations

The mobile microfinance firm of Smart Communications Inc. has finally commenced operations. Smart Communications, the country’s largest mobile operator, has capitalized on the growing dependence of Filipinos on their mobile phones in order to introduce bank products such as savings and loans.

Nigeria: Pathway to Greater Financial Inclusion

Obinna Chima reckons that the planned registration of Bank Verification Numbers for customers from May will strengthen the country’s drive for financial inclusion. In order to ensure that a greater fraction of the country’s population enjoy banking services, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and deposit money banks (DMBs) in the country, have over the years designed initiatives aimed at encouraging financial inclusion.

Azerbaijan Witnesses Microfinance Market Increase

The portfolio of microfinance organizations -members of AMFA- totaled $1,105 billion in 2013. The figure is 36.42 percent higher than 2012, when its volume was $810.55 million. The total volume of the microfinance portfolio of credit organizations in Azerbaijan is about 1.12 billion manat.

 

New J.P. Morgan & GIIN Survey Indicates Higher Impact Investment Commitments

 

125 of the world’s largest impact investors, including fund managers, banks, foundations, development finance institutions, and pension funds surveyed by J.P. Morgan and the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) expect to commit 19% more capital to impact investments in 2014 compared to 2013, as satisfaction with the financial returns and the social and environmental impact of these investments remains high.

 

Paraguay: Putting Poverty Alleviation in the Hands of the Impoverished

Located in the middle of South America, landlocked Paraguay has been experiencing dramatic economic growth as well as significant reduction in poverty levels. The government recently reported that in the past three years, the percentage of people living below the poverty line has been reduced from 32% to 24%.Fueled by exports in soybean, beef and hydroelectricity, the economy grew at more than 14 percent last year. Although all are impressive numbers, the fact remains that one out of every four Paraguayans are still living in poverty and that economic growth has not “trickled down” to the poorest members of the society.