Yerevan, Armenia, January 20, 2012—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is providing Armenia’s ACBA-Credit Agricole
Bank with a $30 million loan to expand lending to local micro, small, and
medium enterprises and agribusinesses, boosting job creation.
Amid tighter credit and volatility in
international financial markets, IFC’s medium-term funding will support
the bank’s lending program in rural areas through its extensive network
of branches throughout Armenia.
This is the second loan IFC has provided
to ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank since March 2011. IFC previously provided
the bank with a $20 million loan, which has already been fully used to
support about 3,000 local clients.
“The new loan will further increase
our capacity for lending to micro and small and medium enterprises, including
agribusiness,” said Stepan Gishyan, CEO of ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank.
“This is a new stage in our successful cooperation with IFC. With this
new loan IFC significantly emphasizes its role as one of our largest lenders.
During these challenging economic times, lending to micro and small businesses
is very important for both of our institutions.”
Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Head for
the Caucasus, said: “IFC continues to play an important role in supporting
banks in emerging markets to help expand their lending programs in priority
sectors, like agribusiness. With this second loan to the leading lender
to the agriculture sector in Armenia in a short time span, we aim to support
development of micro and small businesses, the sector that employs a significant
part of Armenian workers.”
IFC partnered with ACBA-Credit Agricole
Bank in 2003 to establish ACBA Leasing, the first leasing company in Armenia.
In addition to debt finance, IFC also signed an International Swaps and
Derivatives Association master agreement, which allows ACBA-Credit Agricole
to better manage its currency and interest-rate risks.
Since Armenia became a member of IFC
in 1995, IFC has invested $147 million in 28 projects across the industry
spectrum, including financial markets, manufacturing, and mining. IFC Advisory
Services also provides advice through projects focusing on the financial
sector, sustainable energy, and regulatory simplification.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth
by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and
governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets.
In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our
clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute
to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time
high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
For more information about ACBA-Credit
Agricole Bank, visit www.acba.am