Rob Katz

News Roundup: Worldwide Momentum for BOP Projects

Newsboy CartoonRecent stories from around the world highlight different aspects of the BOP theory in action–and all are collected in our BOP Newsroom.? A selection of some of the latest BOP news:

ADB Approves $320m Loan to Pakistan for IT and Financial ServicesAn ADB loan package totaling US$320 million will improve access of Pakistan’s poor to wider financial services.? Key activities will include:

  • the promotion of better technology for delivering financial services more efficiently and at lower cost
  • expanding the range and quality of financial products and services including those for the Islamic market
  • developing public-private partnerships
  • stepping up reliable business and credit information and systems
  • expanding fast, reliable and lower-cost remittance services for overseas workers
  • capacity building for financial institutions and authorities
  • support for literacy (financial and basic) to improve access to finance and its utilization for sustained economic growth.

Mexican Firms Explore Microinsurance

Just as Mexico’s microfinance lenders have carved out a lucrative niche making tiny loans to some of the country’s smallest entrepreneurs, a handful of insurers are proving that it can be profitable to sell life insurance to the country’s working poor and lower-middle class…There is a ready market for microfinance products in Mexico where the average monthly wage is about $500, and many people, especially the urban and rural poor, have little or no relationship with a financial institution. Mexico’s biggest microfinance bank, Banco Compartamos, has over 573,000 clients, while retailer Grupo Elektra’s bank Banco Azteca has made over 19.24 billion pesos ($1.8 billion) in loans to the low-income clients who frequent the group’s stores.? Now investors like Elektra and Citigroup’s local insurance unit Seguros Banamex have latched on to the idea of offering microinsurance, or very small policies, with microcredit.

Ugandan Bank Launches SME Loan Product

Standard Chartered Bank has launched import and export financing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).? The product has an international trade account and the SME express trade product, and is designed to make international trade cheaper, faster and convenient.

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