Press Releases

Peru Ranks First in 2009 IFC-sponsored Global Index on Microfinance

In Washington, D.C.:
Lucie Cecile Giraud
Phone: (202) 294 0504

In Lima:
Ada Calderon
Phone: (51) 1 611 2521

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.

About IFC
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