Lima, Peru, October 1, 2009—A new
report on microfinance sponsored by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
ranks Peru number one among surveyed countries for having the best business
conditions for microfinance.
This is the second year in a row that
Peru tops the charts in the Microscope Index, part of the microfinance
report, which also is sponsored by the Multilateral Investment Fund of
the Inter-American Development Bank, Corporación Andina de Fomento, and
the Economist Intelligence Unit. The index consists of a scorecard
weighing 13 indicators grouped into three categories—regulatory framework,
investment climate, and institutional development. The report, Global
Microscope on the Microfinance Business Environment, is available at
The best ranked region is Latin America,
manifesting the commitment to microfinance throughout the region. Bolivia
holds second place among ranked countries worldwide, and a total of six
Latin American nations are among the top ten—Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua,
Colombia, and El Salvador.
The Philippines, ranked third worldwide, is the strongest finisher outside
of Latin America, followed closely by India in fourth place. The
top African countries are Ghana, in fifth place, and Uganda, in ninth.
The index is being presented at the 2009 Microenterprise Forum, taking
place in Arequipa, Peru, from September 30 through October 2.
“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 critical to building more inclusive financial markets.”
The index was developed in 2007 by the
Economist Intelligence Unit, the business information arm of The Economist
Group, with support from the Multilateral Investment Fund and Corporación
Andina de Fomento. After two years, IFC joins the effort with Dutch
government support, helping make the index truly global.
Microfinance is a critical tool in the
fight against poverty. Access to a range of microfinance services—savings,
loans, and money transfers—enables poor families to invest in enterprise
and in better nutrition, improved living conditions, and the health and
education of their children. IFC provides advice and investments to the
microfinance sector in developing countries.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives.
We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting
private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory
and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping play a prominent role in
addressing the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.