As microfinance lenders grow to the point where IPOs are necessary to raise adequate capital for their operations, some are raising questions about the industry’s purpose and ethics.

This comes as SKS Microfinance announced it was going public; the first Indian microfinance company to do so. The offering is expected to raise US$250-350 million.

Since the microfinance industry exists to serve poor clients, a debate is emerging over what happens once wealthier shareholders start demanding higher returns on their investments.

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