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EBRD and donors increase funding for SMEs in Armenia

By Loretta  Martikian

  • Financing will boost lending to MSMEs and women led businesses
  • EBRD supports Armenia’s private sector in upgrading technologies to EU standards
  • Donor support from the European Union, Sweden and Small Business Impact Fund

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a US$ 25 million financial support to Ameriabank in Armenia for on-lending to private businesses in the country.

As part of the financing package Ameriabank will receive US$ 10 million under the Women in Business (WiB) programme for on-lending in local currency to women-led small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). The programme combines financing, technical assistance, risk mitigation in the form of first-loss cover for local financial institutions, supported by the Small Business Impact Fund and business advisory services to support women-led SMEs. Technical assistance and advisory services are jointly funded by the European Union (EU), and Sweden.

Additional US$ 10 million will be to support the development of the local micro, small and medium size enterprises (MSMEs).

Ameriabank will also receive US$ 5 million under the EU4Business-EBRD credit line, supported by the  EU, for on-lending to local SMEs with export potential for investments in upgrading technologies and services to the EU standards while promoting the use of green technologies.

The EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line is a flagship initiative helping local companies increase their competitiveness at home and abroad by upgrading their production facilities and processes to the EU standards. At least 70 per cent of the loan proceeds will be used to finance investments in green technologies in accordance with the EBRD Green Economy Transition (GET) approach. Borrowers are eligible to receive incentive grants and technical advice, both funded by the EU under the EU4Business initiative.

 Ameriabank is one of the leading banks in Armenia and ranked first by assets, loan portfolio and clients accounts and deposits, It is a major contributor to the Armenian economy, with assets exceeding AMD 1 trillion. Being a dynamically developing universal bank, Ameriabank provides a large package of innovative banking services through its omni-channel distribution platform and with clear focus on digital products. Ameriabank is committed to doing business responsibly and advancing Armenia’s transition towards a sustainable future. Since 2015 the EBRD is also a shareholder in the bank holding a 17.8 per cent stake.

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Armenia. The Bank has invested more than €1.51 billion in 189 projects in the country’s financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 88 per cent of those investments in the private sector.

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