Azerbaijani AccessBank receives first loan from EFSE

Azerbaijani AccessBank receives first loan from EFSE

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan.26 / Trend /

Azerbaijani AccessBank has received a loan from the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) in the amount of $15 million, the bank's press release says on Thursday.

This loan is being extended for a five-year maturity and will be disbursed in two tranches. The Bank has already received the first tranche of $7.5 million. The second tranche is scheduled to be disbursed in February 2012.

The loan is being provided for financing micro and small businesses in Azerbaijan. With its broad customer's base, AccessBank will use the allocated funds to promote the development of entrepreneurship across the country.

"We are pleased to support AccessBank's planned growth strategy in Azerbaijan focusing on MSEs through this financing and look forward to extending the relationship with the Bank", Monika Beck, Chairperson of the EFSE's Board of Directors, said. "As a commercial bank that is fully committed to responsible finance, AccessBank has a significant demonstration effect on other banks in Azerbaijan".

"This is our first loan from the European Fund for Southeast Europe and we are pleased to be starting this new partnership. AccessBank has established a wide pool of financial partners as a result of which AccessBank always has funds for its customers and has earned a reputation as a reliable partner in Azerbaijan," Andrew Pospielovsky, General Manager of AccessBank, commenting on the new loan said.

The European Fund for Southeast Europe aims to foster economic development and prosperity in Southeast Europe and the South Caucasus region through the sustainable provision of long-term funding instruments to qualified partner lending institutions to better serve the financing needs of local micro and small enterprises. Initiated by KfW Entwicklungsbank (The German Development Bank) on 15 December 2005 with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Commission, EFSE is the first public-private partnership of its kind and the first privately managed fund in development finance to leverage private funding for micro and small enterprise finance in the target region. Capital is provided by donor agencies, international financial institutions and private institutional investors.

AccessBank was established to provide financial services for Azerbaijan's micro and small businesses and low and middle income households. AccessBank has been recognized as the most reliable bank in Azerbaijan by Fitch Ratings ("BB+ Outlook - stable') and as "The Best Bank in Azerbaijan" by Global Finance (2011) and Euromoney (2010 and 2011) in their annual awards, as well as "The Bank of the Year" by The Banker (2011). 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% 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%).

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