Although the Tajik banking sector is showing signs of strengthening, low levels of intermediation indicate that it remains among the less developed in the EBRD region. The EBRD is investing in the establishment of AccessBank Tajikistan (ABTJ) in order to help develop Tajikistan's banking sector.
In order to promote the expansion of the real economy sector the EBRD has successfully implemented financing initiatives such as the Tajikistan Micro and Small Enterprise Finance Facility (TMSEFF), the Tajik Agricultural Finance Framework (TAFF) and the Tajik Financial Sector Framework (TFSF). However, the total outstanding lending under these programmes is US$ 93.3 million against an estimated demand from medium and small enterprises (MSEs) of US$ 447 million a year.
In order to help bridge this gap, the Bank is investing up to US$ 2.09 million (18 per cent of total equity) for the establishment of AccessBank Tajikistan (ABTJ), a specialised microfinance institution in the Tajik banking sector. The investment is co-funded by AccessHolding Microfinance (52 per cent), IFC (18 per cent) and KfW (12 per cent). In addition, the governments of Japan, Austria and Luxembourg are providing grants for technical cooperation services for the start-up phase of ABTJ, including institution-building and support of its regional expansion through up to 16 branches, as well as training local personnel in rural and agricultural lending.
ABTJ, which has established its headquarters in Dushanbe opening its doors to customers on April 2010, will help to expand and diversify MSMEs’ access to microfinance. It will set new standards in terms of professionalism, transparency and efficiency-stimulating competition and innovation in the country’s financial sector.