Provision of a senior unsecured loan in the amount of up to USD 2 million equivalent in local currency to Converse Bank, a joint-stock company incorporated in Armenia, for on-lending to women-led MSMEs in the frames of the Women in Business (WiB) Programme in the Eastern Partnership countries.
The loan will be complemented by the development of sustainable credit mechanisms targeted at women-led MSMEs through technical assistance to Converse Bank and technical support for women-led SMEs in accessing know-how, business development tools and networking opportunities.
The project aims to promote women's entrepreneurship and participation in business by improving their access to finance and advice through dedicated credit lines and tailored technical assistance programmes. A special focus will be given to distribution of funds in the regions and outreach to new customers.
ETI score: 80
Inclusive: The Project addresses the "medium" gender related inclusion gap for access to finance in Armenia. It will help Converse Bank develop, test, and roll out tailored sustainable credit mechanisms targeted at women-led MSMEs through technical assistance and strengthen their capacities to effectively reach out to the target segment via marketing and other outreach activities. The project will also improve access to term funding in local currency for women led MSMEs in the country.
Competitive: The project supports competitiveness of women entrepreneurs in Armenia by facilitating their access to local currency financing and also contributes to competitiveness of Converse Bank by assiting it in expansion of product portfolio.
CONVERSE BANK CJSC
Converse Bank CJSC is an established dynamically growing bank, which offers a wide range of banking services to individuals and legal entities. Among the 17 banks in Armenia it ranks the 6th by three indicators: total assets (5.6% market share), loan portfolio (6.2% market share) and customer deposits (6.5% market share) as of 3Q 2019.
Converse Bank CJSC is ultimately owned by Mr. Eduardo Eurnekian, an Argentine businessman with Armenian roots.
EBRD Finance Summary
Total Project Cost
Financing Structure: EBRD offers local currency financing on terms not readily available in the market but necessary for achievement of the project objectives.
Standard-setting: helping projects and clients achieve higher standards: Converse Bank benefits from EBRD's expertise on higher inclusion and gender standards. Additionality is achieved through a non-TC grant that enables Converse Bank to enter the underdeveloped WiB segment as well as TC package to assist Converse Bank in product develpoment. Converse Bank benefits from EBRD's experience in Advice for Small Businesses activities aimed at providing access to advice to WiB segment.
The project will also benefit from EBRD expertise on higher financial standards, including through financial covenants.
Environmental and Social Summary
Categorised FI (2014 ESP). Converse Bank is an existing client under the Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) and has provided an updated ESDD questionnaire to confirm its adherence to EBRD's requirements for FIs. The bank will be required to comply with EBRD's Performance Requirement s 2, 4 and 9, implement the EBRD's Environmental&Social Risk Management Procedures for Micro, SME and Corporate lending which includes adherence to the EBRD's Environmental and Social Exclusion List and submission of annual E&S reports via the Sustainability Index to the Bank. Sub-borrowers financed through Converse Bank's loan will be required to comply with national environmental, health, safety and labour (EHSL) requirements.
Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing
TC: The TC support is organised at the level of the Regional WiB TC Programme for Eastern Partnership countries and funded by SIDA (EUR 2.2 million). The average TC amount per partner financial institution under the Programme is between EUR 200,000 and EUR 300,000.
Non-TC: The project is supported by First Loss Risk Cover of up to 10% of the loan portfolio with a cap of 70% for any single sub-loan funded by the EBRD Small Business Impact Fund.
Company Contact Information
+374 10511211 ext 1373
+374 10 511212
Head office 0010, Yerevan, 26/1, Vazgen Sargsyan
PSD last updated
20 Jan 2020
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Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM)
If efforts to address environmental, social or public disclosure concerns with the Client or the Bank are unsuccessful (e.g. through the Client’s Project-level grievance mechanism or through direct engagement with Bank management), individuals and organisations may seek to address their concerns through the EBRD’s Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM).
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Please visit the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism webpage to find out how to submit a Request for review through our confidential online form, by email, mail or telephone. IPAM is available to discuss your concerns and answer any questions you may have about the submission or handling of Requests, which follow the Project Accountability Policy and Guidance. Requesters’ identities may be kept confidential, upon request.