EBRD and EU boost financing for Armenian firms

By Nina Tsintsadze

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  • EBRD, EU provide fresh funds for Armenian firms via Inecobank
  • EBRD financing to invest in modern, greener technology
  • Borrowers to benefit from EU-funded grants and technical assistance

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) are supporting greater access to finance for Armenian micro, small and medium-sized sized enterprises (MSMEs) through Inecobank.

The EBRD’s new financing of US$ 9 million to this leading Armenian bank will be on-lent to local firms with export potential, for investments in modern, greener equipment and production upgrades.

Backed by the EU, the investment will allow borrowers to boost their competitiveness locally and abroad and introduce measures for sound health and safety. It will also advance environmentally friendly practices and resource efficiency, as at least 70 per cent of the loan is expected to fund green technologies.

The support is part of a joint programme, the EU4Business-EBRD credit line, in which the EBRD provides finance to MSMEs through partner financial institutions, while the EU complements the offer with incentive grants and technical assistance under the EU4Business initiative. This loan will contribute to the aims of the EU’s Eastern Partnership (EaP) Economic and Investment Plan, which include supporting 30,000 SMEs in Armenia. 

“We are pleased to step up support to local firms in Armenia together with our financial and institutional partners,” said Catarina Bjorlin Hansen, EBRD Director, Regional Head of the Caucasus. “A strong private sector is among the EBRD’s priorities in the country and greater access to finance will help companies to strengthen their positions locally, make their production greener and benefit from international trade opportunities.”

“We are delighted to see this cooperation being further developed. It will help companies address key issues of competitiveness by modernising their equipment,” said Andrea Wiktorin, Ambassador, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia. “In parallel, this cooperation reflects fundamental EU values, supporting the transition to greener and more efficient production capacities for the Armenian private sector. This is the core philosophy of the Economic and Investment Plan: to stimulate economic growth while at the same time supporting Armenia’s transition to a path of more sustainable growth. And I firmly believe that the EU4Business-EBRD credit line delivers effectively on these objectives.”

“Inecobank is proud of its highly valued lasting partnership with the EBRD. With the support of the EBRD and the EU4Business initiative, we can once again take steps to boost greener production in the Armenian market, thus providing not only funding opportunities to our SME customers but also helping them to organise their business processes in accordance with international requirements and standards,” said Aren Naltakyan, CEO of Inecobank.

Inecobank, the fifth-largest bank in Armenia, is a longstanding partner of the EBRD, with a strong portfolio of private-sector funding.

The EBRD has invested more than €2 billion in 204 projects in Armenia since the start of its operations there in 1992.

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