Yerevan, Armenia, December 22, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, today announced it is helping Ameriabank
finance small-scale renewable-energy projects in Armenia to boost the supply
of renewable energy and help lower greenhouse-gas emissions.
IFC will provide a $15 million senior
loan to Ameriabank, enabling the bank to provide long-term financing to
build small hydropower plants. Projects supported by the loan are
expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 30,000 tons a year.
The financing also will help increase Armenia’s domestic electricity production,
diversify the electricity supply, and decrease the country’s reliance
on fuel imports.
“Energy-sector development is one of
the key priorities of Ameriabank as it creates new and sustainable investment
opportunities in Armenia,” said Artak Hanesyan, General Director and Chairman
of the Management Board of Ameriabank. “As one of the most innovative
and client-oriented financial institutions in Armenia, we are especially
delighted to be the first bank in the country to extend loans at such exceptional
terms to renewable-energy producers.”
Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Head, Caucasus,
said, “IFC’s extensive experience shows that investing in environmentally
sustainable projects can be profitable for investors, banks, and private
sector companies. We are happy to be expanding our partnership with
Ameriabank to increase Armenia’s renewable-energy capacity.”
In spite of the recent financial turmoil,
Ameriabank has embarked on a strategy of growth and is already among the
top five banks in Armenia by several financial indicators. It considers
renewable energy a priority for its lending growth. The bank’s corporate
portfolio is about $100 million.
IFC also will provide advisory services
to help Ameriabank assess and review projects, with a focus on environmental
and financial aspects. Earlier this year, IFC provided the bank a $5 million
trade-finance guarantee, allowing it to expand financing for the foreign
trade transactions of its clients throughout the country.
IFC has been investing in Armenia since
2000 to support financial institutions, small retailers, and the hotel
industry, among others. It also has implemented advisory projects to improve
the country’s business environment and strengthen the financial sector.
Addressing climate change is a strategic priority for IFC and the
World Bank Group. Globally, in fiscal year 2009, IFC invested over $1 billion
in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other climate-friendly investments.
IFC is the only international financial
institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable
development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently
seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity
for the poor in developing countries—including by increasing financing
for renewable energy or energy efficient projects.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives.
We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting
private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory
and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing
countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Ameriabank is one of the most dynamic
banks in Armenia and ranks among the country’s most stable financial institutions.
It is the first investment bank in Armenia, and since 2007 has been providing
an extensive list of innovative banking products. It focuses mainly on
corporate and investment banking. Ameriabank is owned by TDA Holdings Limited,
an investment company affiliated with Troika Dialog, a leading Russian
investment banking group. For more information, visit www.ameriabank.am.