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INSIGHT "The Microfinance Sector in Morocco: investment opportunities after the crisis"

MicroFinanza Rating is pleased to share some of the results arising from the Country Study recently carried out in Morocco. Read here to know which are the main opportunities and threats for investments in the microfinance sector, after the repayment crisis that affected the country in recent years.

Promoting Responsible Finance in Myanmar

MicroFinanza Rating will be participating in the Responsible Finance Seminar organized by Entrepreneurs du Monde, which takes place in Yangon on the 7th and 8th of May. The goal of the Seminar is to share knowledge about the tools and principles of responsible finance management, given the recent opening up of Myanmar and the subsequent rapid development of microfinance institutions in the country. The discussion will include the current position of the sector in Myanmar and successful case studies of social finance observed in other countries, with the aim of deciding what action to take at the different levels of concerned stakeholders, including local and national authorities, microfinance institutions and cooperatives in the country, sponsors and international stakeholders in responsible finance. Click here to learn more about the event.

Credit and Social Services Rating System Development for Microcredit Companies in China

Together with M-Cril and Dagong Global Credit Rating Agency, MicroFinanza Rating is participating in the project launched by ADB on the development of a Credit and Social Services Rating System for Microcredit Companies operating in the Heilongjiang Province, in China. The aim of the project is to test and define a rating methodology and product, which shall be appropriate for targeted MCCs. All three rating agencies will apply their methodology on 5 MCCs each and results of the test as well as the details of the defined rating methodology will be presented and transmitted to the stakeholders involved in the project.

The gradual but systematic adoption of microfinance ratings in the Heilongjiang Province would allow to enhance transparency in the sector with all the related benefits in terms of more informed regulation and supervision by the Provincial Office of Financial Affairs (POFA), better visibility for MCCs, reduction of asymmetric information and consequent increase of funding opportunities for MCCs. In particular, commercial banks greatly benefit from the availability of microfinance ratings, which provide them an opinion on the risk profile and on performances of the MFIs. Often commercial banks have limited capacity to carry out dedicated due diligence of MFIs, therefore independent third-party microfinance ratings usually represent a valid source of information to allow an investment decision.

“The Microfinance Industry Needs an Infrastructure Fix” - Join the discussion

MicroFinanza Rating CEO, Aldo Moauro posts on the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) blog, sharing his perspective and thoughts on the discussion called by Elisabeth Rhyne, Managing Director, CFI, on "The Microfinance Industry Needs an Infrastructure Fix". Read the post

Elisabeth Rhyne argues: "Nearly every industry requires infrastructure to thrive, and this goes for the microfinance industry too. But the infrastructure that the global microfinance industry has constructed over the past two decades is looking a bit shaky today. Infrastructure investments are urgently needed to keep the industry sound and prepare it for the future."

The big concern is how to ensure organizational survival to those organizations (specialized rating agencies, among others) constituting the infrastructure of the microfinance industry and performing vital functions for it. In fact, after the initial support from the public sector which was essential to start building a microfinance rating culture from scratch, the rating industry experienced an unintended boomerang effect, where many private players did not have the clarity or the willingness to recognize the change and to make the switch in their minds and their budgets from rating=public good to rating=private good.
From our perspective, the following are the possible scenarios for the future:

  • Specialized rating agency owners reach the tolerance limit for absorbing losses, managers reach their tolerance limit for being paid lower than their work (sadly, especially the ones investing more on quality) and the 15 years' work and cumulated expertise comes to an end. This scenario would be challenging for the related initiatives depending on raters for standards development and implementation: SMART Campaign, USSPM, Truelift;
  • The business model of microfinance rating agencies (currently extremely narrow – ratings, evaluations and certification services only) broadens to more sustainable business lines, partly mitigating the sustainability issue.

On the other hand, we agree with the solution proposed by Elisabeth Rhyne, which is to have all the users of transparent information (the infrastructure) pay for they small share – no free riders – within an efficient market framework. Aldo Moauro concludes his post, in the hope that this conversation could be fed by further valuable contributions and that the following step is the organization, in the short run, of structured meetings of the "G20 of microfinance", for an effective and concrete evolution towards serious decisions to be taken on this matter.

Join the discussion at CFI Blog!

Taller sobre Gestión del Desempeño Social y Gestión de Riesgos en Entidades Financieras

Como parte del Taller organizado por Oikocredit, FOROLACFR (Foro Latinoamericano y del Caribe de Finanzas Rurales), Hivos y FINDETO, Aldo Moauro, el Director Ejecutivo de MicroFinanza Rating, participará en el Panel de discusión que lleva por título: "Perspectiva del proceso de integración del rating social al rating de desempeño institucional y financiero de las instituciones microfinancieras y entidades financieras". El objetico del Taller es crear un espacio de análisis respecto al Desempeño Social de las entidades financieras y la Gestión Integral de Riesgos, vinculando este análisis con las líneas estratégicas de negocios definidos por las entidades financieras. Se examinará cómo las entidades financieras integran sus políticas de Desempeño Social en sus planes estratégicos bajo el nuevo marco normativo de la Ley de Servicios Financieros en Bolivia. El Seminario – Taller está dirigido a Directores y altos ejecutivos de las entidades financieras y se realizará en La Paz, Bolivia, jueves 20 y viernes 21 de marzo. Para obtener mayor información, descargue aquí el tríptico del evento y el programa de actividades.

Ten new Client Protection Certification processes launched in Central Asia and the Caucasus

MicroFinanza Rating has launched 10 new Client Protection Certification processes in 4 countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus since the end of the pilot phase. Four institutions received co-fundings from IFC and Deutsche Bank.
Client Protection Certification is an independent, third party evaluation to publicly recognize financial institutions that meet adequate standards of care to implement all of the Client Protection Principles throughout its operations, product offerings and treatment of clients. 

MFR is finalizing the pre-selection process of KfW Housing Finance Project in Tajikistan

MicroFinanza Rating is finalizing the pre-selection process of KfW Housing Finance Project in Tajikistan. MFR had analyzed all submitted applications and currently the process is in the finalizing stage. The selected partner institutions will further undergo due dilligence.
MicroFinanza Rating was chosen by KfW as technical partner in the first phase of Housing Finance Project in Tajikistan. Within this project the German and the Tajik Governments agreed on the allocation of a loan of up to EUR 7.0 million to the Ministry of Economy and Trade Tajikistan for on-lending to local financial institutions.

Opportunity Bank Serbia is SMART certified by MicroFinanza Rating

MicroFinanza Rating is happy to announce that it has awarded a Client Protection Certificate to Opportunity Bank Serbia. Opportunity Bank Serbia is the first institution to be certified within the framework agreement with Opportunity International, to conduct Client Protection Certifications of its partners. For more details on the Methodology please refer to the "Certification" section of our website.

VIII Spanish Edition of the Boulder Microfinance Training Programme

MicroFinanza Rating Latin America Director, Evrim Kirimkan, will be holding a course titled "Comprehensive evaluation of performance: financial and social" as part of the Boulder Microfinance Training (MFT) Program, which takes place in Arequipa, Peru, 3-14 March. The Training will focus on how to evaluate both the financial and social performance of a Microfinance Institution. Participants will be introduced to the main dimensions and indicators of financial and social performance evaluation, its common areas and specificities. The course will combine theoretical presentations with participatory discussions and exercises. Best practices and practical cases will be discussed to improve the comprehension of each topic.

Microfinance Institutional Rating of the first Italian Cooperative Bank

BCC Mediocrati is the first Italian Bank to got a Microfinance Institutional Rating by MFR within the Joint Action to Support Microfinance Institutions in Europe (JASMINE) financed by the EU and managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF). BCC Mediocrati is a small-size cooperative bank working within EU-financed PROGRESS Program and gradually increasing its involvement in microfinance and SME lending.

Microfinance Institutional Rating of the first Italian Microfinance Institution

MFR has successfully completed the Microfinance Institutional Rating of PerMicro within the Joint Action to Support Microfinance Institutions in Europe (JASMINE) financed by the EU and managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF). PerMIcro is a nonbanking financial institution providing the financially excluded people with business and consumer microloans through a network of 12 branches all over Italy.

2013 Annual Report on the Microfinance Sector in Kenya

MicroFinanza Rating and AMFI-Kenya are pleased to present the 2013 Annual Report on the Microfinance Sector in Kenya. This second issue presents the Kenyan microfinance industry developments and trends over 2010-2012, and displays both aggregate quantitative and qualitative information as well as a directory of the individual microfinance services providers in Kenya. This year, the number of institutions participating grew to 21 Credit Only MFIs, 7 DTMs and 4 Banks, a total of 32 participants, all AMFI members. This publication is embedded in MicroFinanza Rating and AMFI-Kenya's roles to foster transparency in the microfinance sector. We hope this publication will help to increase the visibility of the Kenyan microfinance industry in the domestic and international financial markets, facilitate linkages between microfinance players and industry stakeholders; as well as to provide individual MFIs with information and benchmarks to set their standards and strategic goals.

Click here to download the report.

 For any further information, feel free to contact Marine Exposito or Njeri Muita.
Your feedback will be very much appreciated.

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