Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 28
The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) has granted a USD 15 million senior loan facility to AccessBank in Azerbaijan.
The loan will support the Bank's lending activities to micro and small enterprises (MSE) in the rural regions of the country, the bank said today.
The new loan facility will allow AccessBank to provide more than 7,000 micro-loans to its customers. AccessBank is the market leader in microfinance in Azerbaijan with a strong focus on the agricultural segment. With its extensive branch network and experienced staff it is currently serving close to 140,000 clients, according to the report.
"We are pleased to continue our successful partnership with AccessBank through this new loan facility", says Monika Beck, Chairperson of the Board of EFSE. "With its leading position in microfinance complemented by its strong focus on agricultural lending, AccessBank is a great fit for EFSE to reach out to its target groups in the rural areas of Azerbaijan."
"We strongly welcome the support of EFSE as a major partner of AccessBank. The EFSE funds will make a significant contribution to enhance the Bank's lending activities to micro, small and medium businesses in rural areas where we have established a comprehensive network of branches covering all regions of the country", commented Michael Hoffmann, CEO of AccessBank.
The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) was initiated by KfW Development Bank (KfW) with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Commission. It aims to foster economic development and prosperity in the countries of Southeast Europe and the South Caucasus region. As access to finance is a key success factor in developing the micro, small and medium enterprise segments, the EFSE focuses on assisting local financial sectors in strengthening their ability to ensure adequate and sustainable financing. Supporting the EFSE's investment activities is the EFSE Development Facility, which provides partner lending institutions with technical assistance, consulting and training services to build operational capacities and professional management.
AccessBank was founded in 2002 by BSTDB, EBRD, IFC, KfW, the German consulting company LFS Financial Systems (LFS) and Access Holding. AccessBank concentrates on lending to micro and SME businesses. The Bank has wide branch network through Azerbaijan and employs 1,859 staff. AccessBank is rated BB+ by Fitch Ratings, the highest rating of any bank in Azerbaijan.