Peru and Bolivia have the best environments for microfinance in global ranking

Peru ranks first followed by Bolivia, Pakistan and Kenya, according to the 2011 ranking, which compares the microfinance sector in countries and regions across two broad categories—Regulatory Framework and Practices and the Supporting Institutional Framework. These are complemented by an adjustment factor for political shocks and stability.

The strong results for Latin America have been driven by high scores on elements that enable the microfinance business, particularly the existence of credit bureau infrastructures that are relatively well established in the region.

Other Latin American countries that made into the top dozen include: El Salvador, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama and Paraguay. Mexico and Brazil, Latin America’s biggest economies, made important strides in improving the environment for microfinance businesses with both countries now ranked among the top 15 performers.

The report notes that, as a group, Latin American countries perform less well on the Regulatory Framework and Practices, although top performers—Bolivia and Peru—joined by El Salvador, Ecuador and Panama, hold their own in the overall rankings, placing them in the top 10 worldwide.

Latin America and Caribbean weathering global volatility, IDB’s Moreno says

At a Group of 30 meeting, advises countries to offset risks building up in world economy. Latin America and the Caribbean continue to weather relatively well the problems currently afflicting the global economy, Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno said today at a meeting of central bankers and finance ministers.

Speaking to members of the Group of 30, Moreno said: “Indeed for many countries, the external environment has been relatively positive, and the region has made significant and fundamental advances. Still, the region is in a position to advance even further.”

Progress, however, has been uneven. Countries that are net exporters of commodities to emerging markets or are capable of attracting foreign investment have outpaced their regional peers, Moreno noted.
Notwithstanding their current performance, Latin American and Caribbean governments need policies to offset risks building up in the global economy.

Among the most pressing issues, Moreno listed preventing financial contagion in their banking systems, mitigating the effects of declining commodity prices, containing domestic inflationary pressures and addressing structural problems often overlooked due to short-term concerns. Moreno made his remarks at a meeting of the Group of 30, which brought together central bankers, finance ministers, international financial institution leaders to discuss the global economic and financial outlook.

Formally known as the Consultative Group on International Economic and Monetary Affairs, the G30 is composed of senior representatives from the public and private sectors. In their meetings members and guests examine challenging issues, discuss policy options and analyze the potential impact of their implementation.

The event, held on the sidelines of the fall meeting of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, was led by the G30’s chairman, former Bank of Israel Governor Jacob A. Frenkel, and IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno.

Federal Reserve System Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa and Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam discussed current global economic challenges.

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney and Swedish Central Bank Governor Stefan Ingves, who chairs the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, presented their views on financial markets and regulation.

In the closing panel, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, World Bank President Robert Zoellick and Moreno offered comments from the perspective of the Washington-based multilateral financial institutions.

This is the third time the IDB has hosted a G30 meeting. Over the past 30 years the G30 has produced more than 80 occasional papers and 25 special reports. It has also held 65 plenary meetings and a number of international banking seminars.