Another US$ 10 million to AccessBank for loans to small businesses in Azerbaijan

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing additional funds for loans to small businesses with a loan of up to US$ 10 million to AccessBank Azerbaijan, allowing for a diversification of the bank’s funding base.

With this five-year senior loan, the EBRD is increasing the availability of lending to entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan. The EBRD’s funds will help AccessBank Azerbaijan to expand its MSME (micro, small and medium-sized enterprise) lending portfolio in the regions outside of Baku with a particular focus on agricultural lending.

In addition the provision of longer tenor financing will strengthen AccessBank’s balance sheet and business model by improving the diversification and maturity of funding.

This is the second transaction of this kind so far this year. In April, the EBRD provided a loan of US$ 15 million to AccessBank for the same purpose.

AccessBank is the leading provider of financial services to MSMEs in Azerbaijan with MSME lending currently accounting for 90 per cent of AccessBank’s loan portfolio. It is also the seventh-largest bank by total loan portfolio and the highest-rated bank in Azerbaijan.

In this country, the EBRD focuses on promoting small private businesses and developing the banking and non-oil sectors of the economy. To date, the EBRD has committed over US$ 1.5 billion in various sectors of the Azerbaijani economy in about 120 projects.