3 Azerbaijani Banks Launch Independent Crediting Under European Bank’s Program

Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend I.Khalilova / On 31 October the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced on completion of cooperation with three Azerbaijani banks - Bank of Baku, Bank Respublika and UniBank with in the framework of a mechanism on public frame financial services for micro and small business in Azerbaijan (AMBF-MSE). Chikako Kuno, head of AMBF-MSE at the EBRD, said that they has successfully concluded their cooperation with the EBRD, receding technical assistance over 5 years through AMBF-MSE and earlier, the German-Azerbaijani Fund, financed by the German Bank for Development KfW.

An agreement was signed in connection with the completion of the cooperation. Though the technical assistance on crediting micro and small business through this bank was ceased, additional financing is expected.

Kuno said that from now on the banks will receive authorities for conduct of subsequent work in crediting and are announced the first senior partner banks in the project, receiving a status of 'senior' and 'premium'. Funds allotted so far will be left under the bank's disposal and in future the three banks will allocate loans in the amount of up to $100,000 without the participation of local and foreign consultants. At the same time, they can independently train new specialists.

However, the banks will remain partners of AMBF-MSE and the German-Azerbaijani Fund and will have opportunities to participate in events held by the Fund and received additional support on new products or technologies, Andreas Franke, the GAF Technical Manager. It is referred to a new agrarian credit scheme, introduced by AMBF-MSE and new technologies such as loan scoring for micro loans.

An agreement on establishment of GAF was signed in в 1999 and the allocation of loans was set up in March 2001. Partners of the GAF are Bank of Baku and UniBank (from 2001), from January 2003 - Parabank and Bank Respublika, from 2004 - Azerdemiryolbank and Azerigasbank, from December 2006 - Rabitabank and Muganbank, from February 2007 - Nikoil Bank.

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