Pakistan: PMN launches Pakistan Microfinance Review
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN) has launched the “Pakistan Microfinance Review 2011” for the microfinance industry. The initiative is supported by the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), UKAID and the Citi Group, says a statement issued here Thursday. The event was well attended by representatives from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), UKAID, PPAF, Commercial Banks, PMN members (Microfinance Banks, Microfinance Institutions, Rural Support Programmes) and other stakeholders. PMN CEO, Syed Mohsin Ahmed highlighted the achievements, challenges and opportunities of the microfinance industry. Chairperson PMR Editorial board, Ghalib Nishtar along with other editorial board speakers including representatives of SBP, PPAF, UKAID and Urban Poverty Alleviation Program (UPAP) of NRSP held a discussion session. The year 2011 was declared as a watershed period for the microfinance sector in Pakistan as the industry achieved sustainability despite a challenging macroeconomic environment, rains and floods in Sindh, security situation and persistent energy crises in the country. The sector is proving successful in making the transition to commercial finance and witnessed the launch of first money market financing instrument with a number of new products & services for credit as well as remittances. The portfolio at risk remains within acceptable thresholds reflecting positively on the quality of portfolio. The industry continued growth in branchless banking transactions despite the deployment of only two models and saw MFBs and MFIs linking up to provide financial services to the microfinance clientage. With nationwide launch of Microfinance-CIB(Credit Information Bureau), the industry will have the option to better manage credit risk and reward clients with good credit history. Given these positive developments and the upgraded business environment ranking by Economist Intelligence Unit a number of deep pocket investors expressed interest in exploring the market for potential investment and a number of transactions were successfully concluded. In presence of an enabling environment and the industry attaining sustainability, the sector is poised for growth. With the entry of new players and consolidation taking place, the industry is ideally positioned for expansion and provision of a wide array of services covering the entire spectrum of microfinance.
SOURCE: Pakistan Today