EBRD provides loan to AccessBank to finance MSMEs in Tajikistan

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

EBRD provides loan to AccessBank to finance MSMEs in Tajikistan
Richard Jones, head of the EBRD Resident Office in Dushanbe, and Katharina Schachtner, CEO of AccessBank Tajikistan.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is boosting its support for the financial sector in Tajikistan with a multi-currency loan facility, equivalent to US$ 5 million, to AccessBank Tajikistan CJSC for the benefit of its micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) customers.
 
The EBRD aims to boost local currency lending in Tajikistan, to build up local sources of domestic funding and reduce the use of foreign exchange in the country’s financial system.
 
“The EBRD has been promoting local currency loans in Tajikistan to decrease foreign currency risk for financial institutions and local enterprises. This new multi-currency loan will provide AccessBank Tajikistan with flexibility and aims to help the bank increase its share of local currency lending to small businesses,” said Richard Jones, Head of the EBRD Resident Office in Dushanbe.
 
“We greatly appreciate the renewed support of the EBRD for AccessBank Tajikistan. The recent funds provided to us offer an excellent opportunity to enhance our lending activities to micro, small and medium-sized businesses in difficult times. We aim to channel the local currency funds of this facility to our smallest and most vulnerable clients, shielding them from currency risk and thus enhancing our responsible lending approach. The loan facility will allow us to stimulate the Tajik economy when the funds are needed most and to keep our promise to be a reliable banking partner for our clients,” said Katharina Schachtner, CEO of AccessBank Tajikistan.
 
AccessBank is a microfinance bank established in April 2010 with the participation of the EBRD, International Finance Corporation (IFC), KfW and AccessHolding to create a financial institution that offers a wide range of loan and deposit products to MSMEs in Tajikistan, a country with one of the lowest levels of financial intermediation. AccessBank Tajikistan has been an EBRD client since 2009 and has received US$ 8 million in debt and equity financing from the organisation to date.
 
The bank’s vision is to become the leading microfinance institution in Tajikistan and to set new standards for the domestic banking industry in terms of professionalism, transparency and efficiency. By delivering appropriate financial services to its target group, AccessBank seeks to contribute to private sector growth and investment, thus helping to create new business and employment opportunities for the Tajik population.
 
Since the beginning of its operations in the country, the EBRD has invested close to US$ 320 million in Tajikistan across many sectors of the economy.