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.
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.
On approval of the act currently under discussion in Congress, microfinancers will not be able to make loans of more than $10,000.
The new law also requires microfinancers to consult credit bureaus for the customer's credit history before granting a loan.
According to Rene Romero, president of the Nicaraguan Association of Microfinance Institutions, ASOMIF, "... this is exactly the kind of 'very important' feature that makes the bill in question ‘safe’ for both the microfinancer , and the customer, because it ensures that only credit that the user can afford is granted," reported Elnuevodiario.com.ni
The sector expects a slight improvement in the second half of the year after two years of steep decline.
René Romero, president of the Nicaraguan association of micro-finance institutions (Asomif), commented that evidence of the recovery is that some international institutions have started approving loans again.
Asomif will submit a plea for unconstitutionality at the Supreme Court of Justice.
René Romero, president of Asomif, the Nicaraguan Association of Microfinance Institutions, assured that despite presenting this plea, they will observe the new law known as “Moratory Law”, which sets conditions for negotiating debt covenants between debtors and microfinance institutions.
BCIE assured it will disburse the funds as credits for the financial sector during 2009, specially for micro financing companies.
"All of our customers will keep on relying on the resources" commented Edda Meléndez, Country Manager at the Central American Economic Integration Bank (BCIE). "If they can't have the resources is because of eligibility matters and lack of compliance with requirements, not because BCIE is not disbursing funds", assured Meléndez.
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