Nicaragua's microfinance companies will start a retirement plan program for micro businessmen and producers who do not have social security.
Laprensa.com.ni reports: "In order to meet the needs of the population without social security protection, from 2005 the Microfinance Network of Central America and the Caribbean (Redcamif) began to devise a plan that would guarantee pensions for microentrepreneurs and small growers who receive credit from institutions within the network: the Programmed Retirement Plan ".
In 2012 the sector achieved a growth of 5.3%, after three years of consecutive declines, due to an improvement in the business climate.
The entities comprising the Nicaraguan Association of Microfinance Institutions (Asomif) reported last year, in 2012, a portfolio $163.24 million, and a total of 243,066 customers, about 13,030 more than in the year 2011.
Micro financing company Fundeser, also known as the Foundation for Socio Economic Rural Development will in February its formal application to become a regulated financial company.
Since 2008 there has been interest from the Foundation to be regulated by the Superintendency of Banks and Other Financial Institutions (Siboif), but the proceedings were suspended because of the financial crisis.
In Nicaragua, the ‘No Pago’ (Non Payment) movement has generated such distrust in international sources of finance that this year credit lines -which were $80 million-, have barely reached $5 million.
MFIs received less than $5 million in the first quarter of 2012 from international lending institutions, which directly affects their ability to offer more microloans, said Alfredo Alaniz, executive director of the Association of Microfinance Institutions (ASOMIF).
After the storm, the prospect of fresh funds from abroad has improved the business environment for microfinance.
"Between seven and ten million dollars could return to the portfolio’s belonging to Nicaraguan microfinance institutions this year, a product of the emerging recovery in the confidence levels of international creditors", writes Gisella Canales on Laprensa.com.ni.
Analysts say that the regulations contained in the bill issued by the Guatemalan Superintendency of Banks are restrictive for the sector.
Byron Dardón in his article for La Prensa Libre interviewed Cesar Stump, director of the Rural Development Cooperation of the West and an analyst from the Association of Social Economic Research (ASIES), Carlos Gonzalez.
The issuance of a $25 million has been frozen due to pressure from the defaulters.
A group of producers and small businesses that owe $15 million to microfinancers, called the ‘No Pago’ movement, are putting pressuring on the Association of Microfinance Institutions (ASOMIF) and the government, asking them to assume the debts and help them avoid eviction from their defaulted properties.
The Nicaraguan Assembly has passed a law on the promotion and regulation of microcredit.
According to Gutierrez Wálmaro of the association of microfinance institutions (ASOMIF) the effect of the new regulations will result in a reduction of interest rates charged by microfinancers over the next three years.
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