Sunday, September 4, 2011

Big Indonesia Banks Chase Microloans

Sunday, September 4, 2011

SUBANG, Indonesia—Top banks in Indonesia are rapidly rolling out hundreds of microlending branches across the archipelago in the latest push by financial institutions to expand their reach—and boost earnings—by serving the less affluent.

Microfinance services usually are handled through charitable groups, government programs and specialty-finance companies, such as Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.

But in Indonesia, the country's biggest banks, including Bank Mandiri and Bank Danamon, are powering growth in the market, which they say is under-served and lucrative.

"The potential in this market is huge," said Minhari Handikusuma, a director at Danamon who is spearheading its push into microlending. Danamon ...

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