Commerzbank ups portfolio on Azerbaijan six-fold

Commerzbank ups portfolio on Azerbaijan six-fold

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 19 / Trend A. Akhundov /

German Commerzbank has increased its portfolio six-fold within five years of its representative office's activity in Azerbaijan, head of Commerzbank's office Johann Engbrecht told Trend today.

"We provide short-term financing to purchase the goods, equipment and so on," he said. "Moreover, we are actively developing long-term financing guaranteed by the countries, from which the Azerbaijani companies buy equipment. It often buys goods from Germany, as the German product is very popular here. Azerbaijan has great demand for specific techniques.

We provide long-term funding for 5-7 years through local banks. The bank participates in the mobile operator Bakcell's project on 3G development, expanding the fleet at the airport, construction of AzMeCo plant for methanol production. At present, the bank as a long-term investor is involved in ten similar projects."

He added that the bank's total portfolio on Azerbaijan is at a good level.

"We started working in Azerbaijan five years ago, when there was a weak dynamics," he said. "We have achieved all we expected from this market after three years. This market is growing rapidly, unfortunately, faster than banks. During this period, our portfolio on Azerbaijan increased six-fold during this period. Our profits also increased. We are pleased with the results."

He stressed that the representative office also conducts operations on money transfers.

"Money is mainly transferred in euro, dollar and 40 other currencies," he said. "I would not say that there is a very strong flow of euro payments. We have a few euro money transfers, because Azerbaijan is still a dollarized country. However, cash flow in euro is rising every year and at a good pace."

Commerzbank has expanded cooperation with Azerbaijani banks. At present, their number has reached 31, including the International Bank of Azerbaijan, PASHA Bank, Xalq Bank, UniBank and others. Commerzbank AG has received the Azerbaijani Central Bank's license to open a representative office in Baku in November 2007.

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