EBRD supports one of the first modern food retail chains in Turkmenistan

By Ina Coretchi

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The EBRD is supporting the development of one of the first modern food retail chains in Turkmenistan with a $1.9 million equity investment in Ak Enar.
Established in 2008, the locally-owned Ak Enar is the first retail chain in Turkmenistan, currently operating in Ashgabad. The food retail sector in the country is still dominated by small groceries and open market sales.

The EBRD investment will finance further expansion of the Ak Enar’s network, helping the company to grow its retail chain across Turkmenistan.
The project will support Ak Enar’s strategy to develop a chain of stores located close to residential areas, bringing the modern retail experience to customers in Turkmenistan and providing a wide range of quality products at competitive prices.

“This project will set new and improved standards in the food retail sector in Turkmenistan, increasing the competition to the benefit of consumers. By opening new stores, Ak Enar will strengthen its linkages with local suppliers and will create new job opportunities”, said Neil McKain, Head of the EBRD office in Turkmenistan.
“This transaction reinforces the EBRD’s commitment to support the development of the private sector in Turkmenistan, which is one of the key priorities for the government,” added Mr. McKain.

“Having the EBRD as our partner will allow Ak Enar to expand and to develop into the country’s leading retailer. We will set the standards for this rapidly growing sector.” said Akbabek Taganova, the owner of Ak Enar.

The equity investment is provided to Ek Anar under the EBRD’s Direct Investment Facility, a vehicle used to stimulate market activity by using a streamlined approach to financing smaller projects, mobilising more investment, and encouraging economic reform.
In addition, the EBRD is helping to improve Ek Anar’s retail management through the Bank’s TurnAround Management Programme, aimed at assisting private enterprises to adapt to the demands of a market economy.

Since the beginning of its operations in Turkmenistan the EBRD has invested €106 million in the country’s corporate, energy, infrastructure and financial sectors, mobilising additional investments worth close to €390 million.

To date the EBRD has invested more than €5 billion in over 330 agribusiness projects across central and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

 
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