AccessBank Signs Syndicated Loan with EBRD

Business Materials 20 November 2008 17:34 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 20 November / Trend / On 20 November 2008, AccessBank signed a syndicated loan for USD 28 million organised and led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the bank reported on 20 November.

Most of the funds, or USD 20 million, is being provided for a term of three-years, with the remaining USD 8 million being provided for a term of 18-months with an option to extend for further 18 months. The loan is being extended to AccessBank to provide financing for Micro and Small businesses.

$10mln will be provided by EBRD, $10mln by the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), and $8mln by WGZ Bank, Erste Bank and First Bank of Nigeria.

This is the first syndicated loan concluded by AccessBank and EBRD leadership on the deal helps AccessBank access capital markets and diversify its funding base.

Francis Delaey, head of the EBRD office in Baku, said: "We are delighted to sign this loan agreement with AccessBank, because it will strengthen an important financial institution in Azerbaijan and benefit local business. Given current circumstances on international financial markets it is especially significant that we were able to syndicate the loan which is a clear vote of confidence in this agreement."

General Manager of AccessBank, Dr. Andrew Pospielovsky, said, "The successful syndication of this loan, at a time of international financial crisis, is a demonstration of the strength of AccessBank and the Azerbaijan economy. This will inspire further confidence among investors seeking solid ground."

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was established in 1991 when communism was crumbling in Central and Eastern Europe and ex-Soviet countries needed support to nurture a new private sector in a democratic environment.  Today the EBRD uses the tools of investment to help build market economies and democracies in 27 countries from central Europe to central Asia.

AccessBank is the leading Micro and Small business lender in Azerbaijan, disbursing over 4,000 business loans for over USD 20 million every month. AccessBank is owned by six shareholders, including: 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 (20% each), AccessHolding - a strategic investor in microfinance (16.5%); and LFS Financial Systems GmbH - a German consulting company (3.5%).