Micro Finance Bank of Azerbaijan Expands Agro-Loan

Business Materials 22 October 2007 16:04 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend I.Khalilova / The portfolio of MFBA's new agro-loan product, specially developed for agricultural and agricultural related businesses, has already grown to over USD one million, a source stated in the Bank. The Micro Finance Bank of Azerbaijan launched the new agro-loan product, two-months ago in August in Sheki and Lenkoran and recently expanded the programme to Sumgait. The portfolio consists of over 630 agro-loans with an average loan size of USD1,700 - demonstrating MFBA's success in targeting small agricultural businesses. Due to the success of the product in the pilot-branches, in the coming months MFBA will expand the programme to all of its branches outside Baku. The new product provides access to financing to a new group of clients for MFBA and consequently helps MFBA to continue supporting the development of privately owned Micro and Small Enterprises across Azerbaijan.

MFBA General Manager Andrew Pospielovsky said: "The agricultural sector in Azerbaijan suffers from a lack of access to finance and to suitable banking products. With technical assistance provided by the German Development Bank KfW, MFBA has developed products that meet the needs of agro-businesses, and already in the first two-months we have demonstrated our willingness to work with this sector."

Project Manager Sebastian Faryniarz said: "MFBA has developed a new range of financial products specifically for customers engaged in agricultural business and living in rural areas. We worked at this project for quite a long period. Those who participated in this project know how much effort, nerves and time we have put into this product and its promotion. The task was not easy, but nevertheless the product turned out to be very successful. I think we should take pride in this."

Micro Finance Bank of Azerbaijan is 100% foreign owned by six shareholders: 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, LFS Financial Systems GmbH - a German consulting company, and AccessHolding - a strategic investor in microfinance.