EBRD and AccessBank Sign Agreement on Synthetic Loan
Baku, Azerbaijan, December, 08 2009 -
Today, at the Azerbaijan Investment Summit in London, AccessBank signed the first synthetic AZN loan to be extended by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the bank reported.
Under the synthetic loan, the EBRD will provide the funds to AccessBank in USD, but the actual loan obligation by AccessBank to the EBRD will be the AZN value of the provided funds. This marks a new level of sophistication in EBRD's work in Azerbaijan and will allow AccessBank to increase its lending in local currency to Azerbaijan's micro and small businesses, promoting the diversification of the economy. The loan is for an equivalent of USD 10 million (AZN 8 million) and was extended for 4 years.
Nick Tesseyman, Business Group Director-Financial Institutions, of the EBRD, said: "This is the first synthetic AZN local currency loan being extended by ERBD in Azerbaijan. AccessBank is one of EBRD's leading partners in Azerbaijan and the EBRD is pleased to support the needs of AccessBank's clients' by making this important transaction through an AZN denominated loan."
Dr. Andrew Pospielovsky, General Manager of AccessBank, welcoming the agreement said: "This loan will allow AccessBank to provide more loans to Azerbaijani businesses in the local currency. Consequently, it will remove currency risk and provide further assurance to our customers because their monthly installments will be in the national currency and will not depend on currency fluctuations. This is excellent news for the Azeri business community."
The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development was established in 1991 amidst the collapse of the communist regime in Central and Eastern Europe when post-Soviet countries needed support for development of the private sector in a democratic environment. Presently, EBRD uses investment funds for the development of a market economy in 27 countries from Central Europe to Central Asia.
The International Fitch Rating Agency has recognised AccessBank as the most reliable among Azerbiajan's private banks (BB+). AccessBank is 100% foreign owned by six shareholders, consisting of: the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation, the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, KfW Development Bank - the Development Bank of the German Government (20% per each), Access Microfinance Holding acting in microfinance field as a strategic investor (16.5%), and LFS Financial Systems GmbH - a German consulting company (3.5%).