Islamic microfinance fund may be created in Azerbaijan

Business Materials 7 October 2016 17:33 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 7

By Azad Hasanli – Trend:

The Islamic fund on microfinance may be created in Azerbaijan, a source on the country’s finance market told Trend Oct. 7.

The source said that the issue is being discussed by Azerbaijan’s microfinance organizations.

“The discussions are still at a very early stage, but if market participants agree and adopt a concrete decision, then international financial organizations can also join the negotiations,” noted the source.

The source added that recently, foreign investors are showing particular interest in Azerbaijan’s microfinance market.

Recently, a mission of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), which included the ICD Senior Regional Manager of for CIS and Europe countries Samir Taghiyev and the Microfinance Advisor at the ICD Bassem Khanfar, visited Baku. The ICD representatives had meetings with key players of the microfinance market in Baku.

Azerbaijan has become one of the two countries, where the ICD starts negotiations with participants of the microfinance market for the first time, said the source adding that the second country is Kazakhstan.

Prior to that, the ICD have only worked with the banking sector, noted the source.

Earlier, during the 8th Micro-finance Conference in Baku, Executive Director of Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association (AMFA) Zhale Hajiyeva said that together with the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB), which also includes the ICD, businessmen of post-Soviet countries also show interest in the market. She added that they offer to launch new business models in Azerbaijan.

Currently, loan portfolio of Azerbaijan’s microfinance organizations amounted to $485.16 million, according to AMFA.