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FDC 2003-02: The Challenges of Microfinancing in Southeast Asia

This paper examines institutional microfinance in the seven Asian countries. Some of the findings of the study are: * Malaysia: A modern financial system exists with a diverse range of institutions, both private and public, including Islamic Banks. Interest rate controls have kept commercial banks away from microfinance. * Thailand: Specialized microfinance services are not important in the country because of the comparatively minor (10-12 percent) poverty problems. Credit services and the large outreach of BAAC, the state agricultural bank, has reduced the need for specialized microfinance institutions (MFIs). * Indonesia: Certain regulated MFIs provide sustainable microfinance services to the poor in the countryside. * Philippines: Three categories of MFIs exist, each of which answer to a different regulator. There are the rural and thrift banks, NGOs providing microfinance services and credit unions or cooperatives. * Cambodia: The international NGO community played a key role in the introduction of microfinance from the early 1990s. * Vietnam: The NGO community has drawn the attention of the government to microfinance as a tool for alleviating poverty and a number of pilot projects have been initiated. * Laos: The microfinance market is underdeveloped and requires considerable efforts for establishing sustainable MFIs.

PinoyME Foundation
Authors Keywords
Conroy, John D.; microfinance; microfinance institutions;
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