PH ranks 4th in global microfinance survey

Posted at 10/26/12 12:16 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines climbed two notches to rank 4th out of 55 countries in an annual global survey on microfinance business environment.

The country scored 63.3 points, up by 4.8 points from last year's Global Microscope on the Microfinance Business Environment, the Economist Intelligence Unit's report ranking microfinance markets in various countries.

The Philippines trailed behind Peru, which grabbed the top spot at 79.8 points, followed by Bolivia with 71.8 points, and Pakistan with 67.4 points.

The rankings are based on two main categories: regulatory framework and practices, in which the Philippines was placed on top along with Peru; and the supporting institutional framework, wherein the country ranked 15 along with Brazil, Nicaragua, and Uruguay.

The survey also takes into account the "stability" of microfinance markets, if they are vulnerable to any political shocks.

"The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas continues to promote an enabling environment for microfinance, seeing it as one of its key poverty reduction efforts," the report pointed out.

The survey has also recognized key efforts of the central bank since last year such as increasing the ceiling for microfinance loans to P300,000 from P150,000, done through Circular 744 issued in December 2011.

It has also noted the a bill passed in Congress allowing foreign ownership of up to 40% in rural banks although such measure remain pending in the Senate.

The Microscope 2012 survey was conducted in the 12 months ending in June.