Armenia: IFC Loan Helps Armenia’s ACBA-Credit Agricole Boost Lending to Small Bu...
Yerevan, Armenia, January, 20 2012 -
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing Armenia’s ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank with a $30 million loan to expand lending to local micro, small, and medium enterprises and agribusinesses, boosting job creation.
Amid tighter credit and volatility in international financial markets, IFC’s medium-term funding will support the bank’s lending program in rural areas through its extensive network of branches throughout Armenia.
This is the second loan IFC has provided to ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank since March 2011. IFC previously provided the bank with a $20 million loan, which has already been fully used to support about 3,000 local clients.
“The new loan will further increase our capacity for lending to micro and small and medium enterprises, including agribusiness,” said Stepan Gishyan, CEO of ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank. “This is a new stage in our successful cooperation with IFC. With this new loan IFC significantly emphasizes its role as one of our largest lenders. During these challenging economic times, lending to micro and small businesses is very important for both of our institutions.”
Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Head for the Caucasus, said: “IFC continues to play an important role in supporting banks in emerging markets to help expand their lending programs in priority sectors, like agribusiness. With this second loan to the leading lender to the agriculture sector in Armenia in a short time span, we aim to support development of micro and small businesses, the sector that employs a significant part of Armenian workers.”
IFC partnered with ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank in 2003 to establish ACBA Leasing, the first leasing company in Armenia. In addition to debt finance, IFC also signed an International Swaps and Derivatives Association master agreement, which allows ACBA-Credit Agricole to better manage its currency and interest-rate risks.
Since Armenia became a member of IFC in 1995, IFC has invested $147 million in 28 projects across the industry spectrum, including financial markets, manufacturing, and mining. IFC Advisory Services also provides advice through projects focusing on the financial sector, sustainable energy, and regulatory simplification.