Tajik food maker Yakhmos set to take a bigger slice of the market

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) continues to support small and medium-sized businesses in Tajikistan with its first ever co-financing deal with a local bank. Under the EBRD's Medium Sized Co-Financing Facility (MCFF), the EBRD and Tajik Bank Eskhata are extending US$ 850,000 in financing to traditional mince pie producer Dilpisand and to maker of frozen meat products Farkhunda, both part of Yakhmos Group.

The family-run food manufacturer, Yakhmos Group, produces ice cream, soft drinks, traditional mince pies, sambusa, and handmade dumplings known as pelmeni.

The financing will enable the two companies to buy quick-freezing machines and to refurbish their production facilities with a view to increasing output of both sambusa and pelmeni. This will help the company to secure a larger share of the market.

“At the EBRD we are delighted to co-finance with Bank Eskhata one of their best clients,” said Ulf Hindstrom, Head of the EBRD Office in Tajikistan. “Our contribution is crucial as the ability of local banks to support the growth of successful companies like Yakhmos Group remains constrained.”

Bank Eskhata, the fifth-largest bank in Tajikistan, joined the EBRD's MCFF programme last year. The MCFF is designed to meet the financing needs of medium-sized private companies in countries like Tajikistan where the requirements of such businesses are outgrowing the financial sector. The financing is also accompanied by a technical cooperation grant from the EBRD’s Early Transition Countries (ETC) Fund which enabled the EBRD to engage a consultant to work with Bank Eskhata to help develop the project and train Eskhata bankers for the future implementation of similar deals.

Mirzoabbos Muminov, one of the owners of Yakhmos Group, welcomed the opportunity to work with an international financial institution such as the EBRD and to obtain loans with a longer tenor than are available from a local bank. “The EBRD’s involvement helped us to create an optimal structure for the loans that will allow Yakhmos Group to further strengthen its position in the marketplace,” he said.

Yakhmos Group also benefits from working with the EBRD’s Small Business Support team, who provide the company with expert advice to help them modernise both operations and business strategy.

Supporting small and medium-sized enterprises is one of the ways in which the EBRD is boosting growth in Tajikistan. Since the beginning of its operations in the country, the Bank has invested some US$ 400 million in various sectors of economy, focusing on areas that improve people’s lives, such as public utilities and infrastructure.