EBRD Steps up Investments in Shares of Azerbaijan’s Financial Institutions
Azerbaijan, Baku, 27 October/ Trend , corr N. Ismayilova/ "The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) plans to complete talks on investing in the shares of the non-bank financial institutions of Azerbaijan by the end of 2008," head of EBRD Baku office Francis Delay said to journalists.
EBRD is holding talks to invest in the shares of CredAgro, non-bank credit organization.
"We are always interested in investing in shares of companies with strong management, transparent corporate management and good prospects of growth to help them to better their performance," Delay said.
He said EBRD is more interested in bank sector and non-bank financial institutions such as micro finance organizations, leasing and insurance companies, and those engaged in technologies and communications. "Of course, we can consider investing in other companies who meet our criteria, but at the moment, EBRD is holding talks on investing in securities of the non-bank credit organizations which we hope to complete by the end of the year," Delay said.
EBRD also studies possibility to invest in two more financial institutions the names of which he did not divulge. The discussions have started recently and intention protocols will be realized not earlier than mid-2009 if there is progress in talks, he said.
As to financial sector, EBRD has invested in three banks of Azerbaijan (UniBank, Azerdemiryolbank и AccessBank), one leasing company (Unileasing) and insurance company (MBASK). In corporate sector, EBRD has invested in MPro dairy manufacturer and Garadagh Cement.
The only founder of CredAgro is ACDI- VOCA, international humanitarian organization who set up non-bank credit organization in Azerbaijan 8 years ago. The authorized capital stock of the company totals to $5,000 with aggregate capital totaling to AZN 7mln.
CredAgro has been cooperating with EBRD since 2006 and was first non-bank organization to receive Euro Bank loan. So far, EBRD has financed mostly bank organizations both by holding shares in the capital and granting loans.
Last year EBRD expanded credit line for CredAgro to $4mln. These funds have already been spent.
CredAgro focuses on financing projects in the regions with coverage zones extending to 27 regions of the country. It has nine representative offices and back offices. CredAgro finances various spheres including agriculture, trade operations, infrastructure, leasing and consumer credits. The credits are granted at interest rate of 36% a year with 3-year term.
The official exchange rate for 27 October is 0,8116 AZN/USD.
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