Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association: Cheaper loans can help revitalize economy and increase lending to real sector
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Apr. 29
By Fidan Babayeva - Trend:
The global situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic also negatively affected the non-bank credit organizations (NBCOs), Chairman of the board of the Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association (AMFA) Jalal Aliyev told Trend.
“The microfinance sector is part of the country's banking and credit sector,” Aliyev added. “Of course, the negative global situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic also affected the non-bank credit organizations.”
“NBCOs were among the entities that continued operating during the special quarantine regime,” the chairman said. “But the main target group, micro and small entrepreneurs, especially those involved in running shopping centers, markets and households, could not move freely to receive loans and continue their work, so lending has actually stopped.”
"The situation has led to a great increase in delays in loan repayments,” Aliyev said. “Debtors delay payments due to a decrease in income and the inability to reach the payment points. NBCOs understand this situation and do not require early repayments from the customers. Moreover, organizations have suspended the accrual of fines and interest on loans since March 19."
“The relevant measures taken by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan will also allow applying refinancing, restructuring and deferring payments to debtors,” the chairman said. “NBCOs have developed more favorable conditions for lowering interest rates, especially for enterprises to have a better access to the loans. Cheaper loans can help revitalize the economy and increase lending to both the public and the real sector.”
“One must not expect the speedy return of the country's economy to its pre-quarantine condition,” Aliyev said. “I think that the full economic recovery may be observed at the end of the first and at the beginning of the second quarter of 2021. The Azerbaijani government has taken operational measures to prevent the rapid spread of coronavirus in our country and the measures are still being taken.”
“The situation associated with a pandemic in the world is changing daily. In response to this, under the leadership of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, the necessary support programs, which will lead to the full recovery of the economy, are being implemented in the country," the chairman said.
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