EFSE provides USD 10 million loan to Armenia’s converse bank for small business lending

11.06.2010 20:40
EFSE provides USD 10 million loan to Armenia’s converse bank for small business lending

YEREVAN, June 11. /ARKA/. The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) signed a loan agreement of USD 10 million with Armenia’s Converse Bank for on-lending to small business in Armenia June 9 during its annual meeting in Ohrid, FYR Macedonia. It is the first investment of EFSE in the country. Converse Bank will use loan proceeds to expand financing of investments and working capital of small businesses in Armenia with long-term loans up to EUR 100,000. The loan will help the Bank to meet the demand for long-term financing especially from micro and small enterprises (MSEs), which dominate the private sector in the country.

Converse Bank is the 8th bank in Armenia by assets, servicing MSEs, with a special focus on the smallest borrowers in rural areas.

EFSE’s loan to Converse Bank is being provided under the European Neighborhood Small Business Growth Facility (ENBF), a dedicated European Neighborhood window within the EFSE structure.

EFSE began its operations in Armenia in December 2009, when it expanded to include further countries of the European Eastern Neighborhood Region, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Georgia.

Over the next five years, EFSE is expected to provide financing in a total amount of EUR 300 million to financial institutions in the European Eastern Neighborhood region, including Moldova and Ukraine. This will allow EFSE to facilitate approximately 100,000 business loans to MSEs and housing loans to low-income private households in the region.

Overall, since its inception in December 2005 until December 2009, EFSE has offered a total of EUR 684 million in financing to commercial banks, small-business banks and microfinance institutions throughout Southeast Europe. These partner lending institutions have on-lent EUR 1.1 billion of EFSE funds in the form of roughly 216,000 business and housing loans.

The microfinance fund European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) is aimed at fostering economic development and prosperity in Southeast Europe, including Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, FYR Macedonia, Georgia Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. It offers long-term funding instruments to local financial institutions for on-lending loans to small business, in particular to micro and small enterprises (MSEs), as well as housing loans to low-income private households.

The majority of Armenian Conversebank-95%- is owned by an Argentinean Armenian businessman Eduardo Eurnekian, the 5% by Armenian Apostolic Church. It has 25 branches in 13 Armenian towns and 500 employees. ($1- 377.61 Drams). –0

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