The EBRD is supporting the expansion of the Kyrgyz small retail food chain, NASH, with a US$ 840,000 loan, which will partially finance the purchase of additional premises, trade and warehouse equipment and the construction of new facilities. The loan has been made under a joint EBRD-EU programme for small business support.
The investment is driven by strong growth potential in the Kyrgyz retail market, where there is still a low concentration of retail chains in the capital, Bishkek, and in the rest of the country. The owner of NASH is a Kyrgyz entrepreneur with more than 10 years’ experience in distribution and five years in retail business.
Gilles Mettetal, EBRD Director of Agribusiness, said: “This is a small but important investment for the Bank, as we have defined support for local private enterprises in the Kyrgyz Republic as one of our priorities. Local companies are vital for the balanced and sound development of the Kyrgyz economy. The project will have an important impact through skill transfers and the setting of standards for business conduct as well as for health and safety regulations. In addition, support for local enterprise is an area in which the EBRD instruments for financial support and technical assistance have a significant effect.”
Nur Bayakmatov, the owner of NASH, added: “We have worked hard to comply with the standards of the EBRD. This financing will enhance the competitive position of our company and improve the quality and range of products for our customers. We look forward to long-term cooperation with the Bank.”
NASH is one of ten projects in Central Asia that have been financed under the joint EBRD-EU SME Finance Facility for Central Asia, to which the European Union’s Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA) has provided €11 million of funds for credit enhancement support and technical assistance. The company and this project are assisted by technical cooperation funds provided by the EBRD and the EU’s IFCA.
The joint EBRD-EU SME Finance Facility for Central Asia was created in 2012 to support direct lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and indirect financing of SMEs via local banks in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
In the Kyrgyz Republic, the EBRD has invested over €450 million in more than 105 projects, with a special focus on promoting the private sector and financial sector as well as developing critical infrastructure.