EBRD extends $8-million loan in drams to Armenia’s ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK

16.12.2016 13:04
EBRD extends $8-million loan in drams to Armenia’s ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK

YEREVAN, December 16, /ARKA/ The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a local currency loan in Armenian drams equivalent to US$ 8 million through a local currency financing facility to ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK (ACBA), the EBRD press office reported on Thursday.

The funds will support the development of Armenia’s private sector with a particular focus on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as well as women-led businesses.

The equivalent of US$5 million will be on-lent to viable MSMEs, whose access to finance, especially in local currency, remains limited. In addition, the facility will support the development of women’s entrepreneurship in Armenia by on-lending the equivalent of US$ 3 million to women-led small and medium-sized businesses.

“ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE is one of the leading banks in Armenia, with a dominant position in lending to agriculture and MSMEs for rural areas in particular,” the EBRD says in its report. “Its extensive network of 57 branches in all regions of Armenia allows it to reach out to many potential clients country-wide.”

The EBRD Women in Business programme was created to strengthen the role of women in the economy and to date has been rolled out successfully in 25 countries where the Bank invests. It provides access to finance through credit lines to local banks as well as business advice, training and support for women entrepreneurs and women-led enterprises.

The programme combines financing, technical assistance, risk mitigation in the form of first-loss cover for local financial institutions, and business advisory services to support women-led SMEs. Technical assistance and advisory services are jointly funded by the EBRD and the governments of Luxembourg and Sweden.

Mark Davis, EBRD Head of the Yerevan office, is quoted by the press office as saying: “ACBA is a longstanding client of the EBRD and we have worked on numerous programmes together over the years. This is yet another project that can help us to reach businesses in the region through ACBA’s strong rural presence. The EBRD is determined to improve access to finance for small businesses and women entrepreneurs, especially in local currency. We are confident today’s loan will be very successful in reaching new companies in every part of Armenia.”

The Chief Executive Officer of ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK, Hakob Andreasyan, in a speech at Thursday’s signing, said: “We greatly appreciate this cooperation with the EBRD and consider the Bank to be one of our most important strategic partners. This loan will be directed to supporting women’s entrepreneurship as well as financing MSMEs and will enable us to expand our investments in these areas. ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank and the EBRD have already signed more than 10 agreements and I am sure we will continue our effective cooperation.”

Since the start of its operations in Armenia in 1992, the EBRD has invested over €1.11 billion in 153 projects in the country’s financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 88 per cent of these investments being in the private sector.

ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK was established in 1996 as part of European Union’s TACIS program. In September 2006, France’s Credit Agricole Group became the biggest shareholder of the bank making considerable investments into its capital. -0---

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