Law on Microfinance Organizations

Chapter I

Article 1. Object and Application Field of the Law
(1)    The present law stipulates the legal statute and patterns of incorporation and activity of microfinance organizations, ensures the appropriate conditions for the protection of legal rights and interests of creditors, donors, beneficiaries as well as these of founders, members, associates, and shareholders of microfinance organization.
(2)    The stipulations of the present law shall not be applied to financial institutions and savings and credit associations.

Article 2. Legislation on Microfinance Organizations
(1)    The Legislation on microfinance organizations includes civil, tax, investment legislation, the present law, as well as other laws and regulations.
(2)    The acts regulating the activity of financial institutions and the activity of investment funds shall not be applied to microfinance organizations.

Article 3. Basic notions
The following notions shall be used in the present Law:
microfinance organization - a legal person the basic activity of which is to practice a microfinance activity;
microfinance activity – activity of providing the microfinance services, stipulated in the present law, to the population and/or individual entrepreneurs and micro, small and medium sized enterprises;
loan –  loan in the form of money, provided by the microfinance organization with or without interest to the physical persons and/or micro, small and medium sized enterprises.

Article 4. The Purpose and Principles of Activity of Microfinance Organizations
(1)    Microfinance organizations shall provide a broader access of the population and/or individual entrepreneurs and micro, small and medium sized enterprises to the financial sources.
(2)    The principles of activity of the microfinance organizations:
a)    ensuring financial sustainability in the field of microfinance;
b)    ensuring transparency in the microfinance activity;
c)    ensuring loyal competition.

Chapter II

Article 5. The Legal Status of Microfinance Organization
(1)    The microfinance organization shall unfold its activity in compliance with the present law, other laws and regulations, act of foundation and its bylaws.
(2)    The microfinance organization is eligible to open bank accounts on the territory of the Republic of Moldova and abroad, unless the law stipulates otherwise.
(3)    The microfinance organizations are eligible to associate for protecting their legal rights and interests.

Article 6. The Forms of Microfinance Organizations
(1)    The microfinance organization shall be constituted as a limited liability company or joint stock company according to the legislation in force.
(2)    The microfinance organization is eligible to use in its name the word “microfinance”.
(3)    The legal entities, which a not constituted as the microfinance organizations, shall not have the right to use in their names the word “microfinance”.

Article 7. Microfinance activity
(1)    The microfinance activity is an economic activity permanently practiced by the microfinance organization and includes provision of the following microfinance services:
a)    granting and management of loans;
b)    provision of guaranties to loans and bank loans;
c)    provision of investments and participations.

(2)    The microfinance organization may be engaged in any microfinance activities stipulated in the paragraph (1), as well as in any other secondary, but necessary activities, not prohibited by legislation, and specified in the act of foundation.
(3)    The microfinance organization is eligible to receive financial funds in the form of investments, loans, donations (grants) and sponsorships from the individuals and/or legal entities both from the Republic of Moldova and/or abroad.
(4)    It is mandatory that the microfinance organization create provisions necessary to cover contingent losses incurred from the default on loan and interest.
(5)    The microfinance organization may independently establish the limits and conditions under which to provide the microfinance services.

Article 8. Activity Restrictions
(1)    The microfinance organization shall not be eligible to:
a)    provide investments or participation without having to practice the microfinance activity stipulated by art. 8, par. (1), letter a);
b)    provide loans with the purpose of acquiring the self-issued shares.
(2)    In its activity, the microfinance organization shall have the right to establish additional restrictions through the act of foundation.

Chapter III

Article 9. State Supervisory Body
(1)    The microfinance organizations’ activity shall be monitored by the State Supervisory Body, a Ministry of Finance division supervising the activity of the Savings’ and Credit Associations of the Citizens.
(2)    The main attributes of the State Supervisory Body are the following:
a)    elaboration and proposal for the Government approval of the normative acts resulting from the present law;
b)    elaboration and adoption of the normative acts falling under its competence;
c)    collection of statistic data from the financial and other reports provided by the microfinance organizations;
d)    cooperation with the associations of microfinance organizations;
(3)    The microfinance organization shall submit financial and specific reports to the State Supervisory Body, according to the legislation in force.
(4)    The State Supervisory Body may delegate to the associations of microfinance organizations, on the bases of an agreement, the function of data collection and consolidation from the financial and specific reports, as well as other auxiliary functions.

Chapter IV

Article 10. Final Provisions
Within 6 months, the Government shall:
a) submit to the Parliament proposals for amendment of the legislation in force to bring it in compliance with the present law.
c)    adjust its laws and regulations to the present law;
d)    adopt laws and regulations necessary to execute the present law.

PRESIDENT OF THE PARLIAMENT                Eugenia Ostapciuc
Chisinau, July 22, 2004.  Number. 280-XV
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