EBRD channels local currency funds to Kyrgyz small businesses via KICB

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo


US$ 7 million credit line will be on-lent to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is boosting support to private entrepreneurship in the Kyrgyz Republic by providing a local currency credit line to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.

The amount in som, equivalent to US$ 7 million, will be made available to companies through the EBRD’s local partner bank, KICB.

Neil McKain, EBRD Director for Central Asia based in Bishkek, said: “Kyrgyz businesses are experiencing an acute shortage of local currency funding after the devaluation of the som, so this credit line is going to help hundreds of MSMEs to avoid exchange risk. We are proud to join forces again with our partner KICB to support small businesses just weeks after signing another important joint project aimed at energy efficiency”.

The local currency credit line has been made possible thanks to a risk-sharing facility funded by international donors via the EBRD-run Early Transition Countries Fund*.

KICB’s CEO Mr Kwang Young Choi said: “As a lender we believe that private companies are a bedrock of the country’s economy, so better access to finance for MSMEs is crucial for the Kyrgyz Republic. This new credit line will enable us to reach even more MSME clients though our network of regional branches.”

KICB is a long-standing partner of the EBRD, which is also a shareholder in the bank.

To date, the EBRD has invested over €630 million in the Kyrgyz Republic, focusing on the development of the private sector as well as a programme to improve vital public services such as water and wastewater, electricity and transport.

 

*The donors of the Early Transition Countries Fund are: Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taipei China and the United Kingdom