Baku, Azerbaijan, December 24, 2012—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a $15 million loan to Azerbaijan’s
AccessBank to increase funding for micro and small businesses in Azerbaijan,
supporting job creation and economic development.
This IFC loan will help the bank expand
its lending to small, low-income entrepreneurs who are often underserved
by commercial banks. Through its extensive branch network the bank will
provide much-needed finances, particularly in rural areas, thereby reducing
poverty in these regions.
“Growth of micro and small businesses
is often hampered by a lack of access to financial services, in particular
in the regions of the country and for small agricultural businesses, stated
Michael Hoffmann, General Manager of AccessBank. “AccessBank was created
to close this gap, to create a more inclusive financial system. IFC’s
loan will help us move forward in this direction.”
Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager
for the South Caucasus, stated, “Through this project, AccessBank, our
long-term partner, will increase lending to micro and small businesses
engaged in sectors like trade, services, and agriculture. This cooperation
is yet another step forward in implementing our strategy in Azerbaijan
to foster sustainable growth and diversification of the economy through
investment and advisory support to the non-oil sectors.”
IFC, acting with other international
financial institutions, promoted the establishment of AccessBank in 2002.
The bank is now the leader in micro and small business finance in Azerbaijan,
providing crucial financial services to the poor.
Azerbaijan became a member of IFC in
1995. Since then IFC has invested about $364 million in Azerbaijan to support
more than 60 private sector projects in the financial services, infrastructure,
and manufacturing sectors. IFC also implements advisory programs to improve
the business climate, strengthen financial markets, and increase resource
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, mobilizing
capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services
to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time
high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector
to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing
development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
For more information about AccessBank,
please, visit: www.accessbank.az