Southeast Asia's Credit Revolution: From Moneylenders to Microfinance

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-09-24
  • Publisher: Routledge

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The last twenty years have seen a transformation in the availability and use of credit among the less prosperous - though perhaps not the least prosperous - strata of Southeast Asian societies. Historically Southeast Asia was seen as afflicted by a complex of debt-related problems: high levels of indebtedness; lack of savings; general scarcity of cash; high interest rates; widespread debt-bondage due to the great demand for credit and the high interest rates; and a need for advance payments in order to initiate commercial transactions. Colonial and early post-colonial governments had only limited success in displacing private moneylenders and other informal credit providers. In the 20 th century, the formal financial sector began to reach small borrowers on an unprecedented scale. In the international league table of microfinance penetration rates, as measured by the number of borrowing clients as a percentage of the total population, four of the top six countries in the world arelocated in Southeast Asia. Today credit is available to ordinary Southeast Asians at lower cost than ever before, and at the same time bank accounts are fast replacing gold, livestock and gift-exchange as forms of saving even in remote areas.This book, written by experts in relevant fields, deals with the modern or formal part of the microfinance sector. Contributions also look at informal moneylending, rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCAs), cooperatives, pawnshops, shopkeeper credit, advance crop payments from traders before the harvest, and other traditional types of lending.Of interest to an interdisciplinary readership, this book presents an analysis of microfinance-related issues in a variety of Southeast Asian settings.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. xiii
Contributorsp. xv
Preface and Acknowledgementsp. xviii
Introduction: from moneylenders to microfinance in Southeast Asiap. 1
Rural credit market imperfections and the role of microfinancep. 18
Old and new worlds of microfinance in Europe and Asiap. 40
Credit provision among Vietnamese small businessesp. 58
Pawnshops in Singapore: traditional microfinance in a modern societyp. 84
The Indonesian People's Credit Banks (BPR)p. 95
Breaking the barriers of microfinance: the Philippine casep. 113
Economic theory meets evidence in rural Thailand: lessons for group lendingp. 125
The effects of microfinance on the Orang Asli of Malaysiap. 141
Farmers in debt: the case of rainfed upland farmers in Northeast Thailandp. 158
Microfinance in Indonesia: evolution and revolution, 1900-2000p. 173
Microfinance in Burmap. 190
Indexp. 206
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