AccessBank, USAID begin joint agricultural project
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct.6 / Trend, N.Ismayilova /
Azerbaijani AccessBank and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have launched a joint project in the agricultural sector in Azerbaijan, Andrew Pospielovsky, AccessBank General Manager said.
"We are already very active in funding the agricultural sector, and we have the largest agricultural credit portfolio in Azerbaijan. We have started implementation of a small project with USAID, which will help us expand the number of loans in this sphere," Pospielovsky said.
He said that USAID is funding the project to the amount of $1 million. AccessBank's portfolio of agricultural loans exceeds $50 million, and the number of customers equals 35,000 people.
"This is the first step of cooperation with the USAID, and to expand agricultural lending the amount is insignificant, but we hope that in the future USAID will increase investment in this sector if this project is successful," he said.
AccessBank was established to provide Azerbaijani families and micro and small entrepreneurs with financial services. The International Fitch Rating Agency has recognisedAccessBank as the most reliable private bank of Azerbaijan (BB+), and the Euromoney Publication Group named AccessBank as "The Best Bank inAzerbaijan" in its 2010 Awards for Excellence. AccessBank is 100% foreign owned by six shareholders, consisting of: 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% per each), Access Microfinance Holding acting in microfinance field as a strategic investor (16.5%), and LFS Financial Systems GmbH - a German consulting company (3.5%).