SIFEM Sign First Credit Deal with Azerbaijan Bank

Azerbaijan, Baku, 11 January / Trend corr. I.Khalilova / The Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM), on behalf of the Swiss Confederation, allocated $6mln for the six years term to the finance micro, small and agricultural business of the country, to the Azerbaijani Micro Financing Bank (AMFB), the bank reports on 11 January.

Today, AMFB received the first $4mln from SIFEM. These funds will be spent by the bank in the crediting of the micro, small and agricultural business. So, the minimum 50% of the funds will be directed to the new agrarian credit bank products.

The agreement is the first deal between AMFB and SIFEM. AMFB drew more than $90mln to develop the micro and small enterprise in Azerbaijan. The key goal of the crediting fund to the AMFB is, to render the assistance to expand one of the successful local banks in the future, which supports the local micro and small enterprises and encourage the diversification of economy in the non-oil and gas sector.

"The allocated credit demonstrates the reliability rendered by the international organizations to AMFB, and SIFEM recognizes the necessity of our new agrarian products because of which it is crediting for the development of the agricultural sector of Azerbaijan, which has a limited access to the financial services", Endru Pospilovski, AMFB General Manager, said.

For the first time in the five years, AMFB allocated $240mln to finance more than 35,000 micro- and small enterprises in Azerbaijan. Today, more than 30,000 enterprises cooperate with AMFB. The bank allocates credits to 300,000 enterprises, totaling $13mln monthly. Almost, half of these enterprises are the new business-clients.

SIFEM is a specialized investment consultant, which render the long-term finance to the small and medium enterprises of the private sector in the developing countries and countries with developing economy, through various financial instruments. SIFEM has a power to manage the investment portfolio of the Swiss State Secretariat on Economy Affairs, as well as the other private and state enterprises.

The Micro Finance Bank of Azerbaijan is 100% under the foreign governance- owned by the 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, as well as AccessHolding- which is a leading investor in the microfinance.

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