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Microfinance lending grows

/ 12:08 AM May 18, 2016

Lending to startup entrepreneurs further ballooned to P11.3 billon at the end of last year, on the back of both public and private initiatives aimed at boosting the microfinance sector.

In a speech during the launch of the 14th Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards Tuesday, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. noted the progress made thus far in microfinance development, which he said was brought about by “sustained coordination and cooperation with industry players and stakeholders.”

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“Industry figures mark our progress. In December 2002, for instance, there were 390,635 microfinance borrowers from 119 banks. By Dec. 31, 2015, the number of banks providing microfinance loans had increased by nearly 43 percent to 170 while the number of borrowers had increased by 277 percent to roughly 1.47 million,” Tetangco said, comparing the latest data with figures 14 years ago when Citi Philippines started the awards.

“Overall, microfinance loans increased by 333 percent from P2.6 billion in 2002 to P11.3 billion in 2015,” according to Tetangco.

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The end-2015 figure further increased from the microfinance loan portfolio of P10.4 billion across 1.27 million borrowers as of June last year, BSP data showed.

Tetangco added that microfinance had been improving small entrepreneurs’ financial health, based on their total savings. Ben O. de Vera

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