AccessBank to continue focusing on Azerbaijani regional lending
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 6
By Emin Aliyev - Trend:
Azerbaijani AccessBank intends to continue focusing on its activity of micro-credit which is a loan to small and medium enterprises especially in regions of the country, AccessBank chairman of board Michael Hoffmann told Trend on March 5.
"As is known, these directions are a priority for us," he added. "The market is more saturated in Baku and Absheron. The demand is significantly less than that in the regions. As for the figures, the volume of retail loans in our portfolio is very small standing at $76 million in a specific weight of the total loan portfolio of less than 10 percent."
As of late 2013, AccessBank microfinance portfolio volume was $358 million, or 45 percent of the total loan portfolio. Some 42 percent of the portfolio, or $331 million, accounted for loans to small and medium businesses.
"There is a bank branch in each small city in Azerbaijan, or will certainly appear in the near future," he said.
"Moreover, we intend to continue the practice of drawing foreign resources from international financial institutions, especially taking into account the bank's shareholders," he said.
He added that the current year will not be an exception.
AccessBank was founded in 2002 by BSTDB, EBRD, IFC, KfW, the German consulting company LFS Financial Systems (LFS) and Access Holding.
The bank concentrates on lending to micro and SME businesses. It has a wide branch network through Azerbaijan and employs 1859 staff. AccessBank is rated BB+ by Fitch Ratings, the highest rating of any bank in Azerbaijan.
Translated by NH
Edited by SM