ArmInfo. Proparco (subsidiary of Agence Francaise de Developpement focused on private sector development) and Ameriabank signed a 20 million USD credit facility agreement. The financing will be directed to energy efficiency, renewable energy, agribusiness, food processing, education and healthcare projects in Armenia, Guillaume Barberousse, Head of Financial Institutions at Proparco stated at the today's press conference attached to signing the agreement.
Guillaume Barberousse gave high assessment of Ameriabank's work stating that he has followed Ameriabank's activities for recent 3-4 years and stressed that even during the recent 2 years, which were economically difficult, Ameribank continued to develop retaining leading position in the country's banking sector. The bank managed to create strong financial structure due to good management and experienced and qualified staff.
CEO of Ameriabank Artak Hanesyan in turn thanked the French partners for high assessment and noted that within the agreement with Proparco loans for SMEs will be long-term, financing will be made in USD and interest rates will be affordable. Touching upon the previous agreement (signed in 2013 for $15 mln) Hanesyan emphasized that the funds were successfully invested in economy, particularly in the SME sector and contributed to opening of new job places. At the same time he informed that the bank will continue to expand its activities to that end and soon an agreement will be signed with another international partner amounting to $70mln. Hanesyan attached importance to certain reduction of demand on the lending market in recent period and stated that the bank, considering the prospects of economy development, expects that the demand will activate and grow. "We will try to maintain leadership on lending market till the end of the year. I can not give the exact forecast but I think that Ameriabank will manage to increase growth rates of lending in overall and lending to SME in particular, as this sector will be the main priority for us", he stressed.
French Ambassador to Armenia Jean-Francois Charpentier was also invited to the ceremony of signing the agreement. He gave positive assessment to expansion and strengthening of Proparco's activities in Armenia. Touching upon the previous agreement the French Ambassador noted that 4 Armenian enterprises became beneficiaries within the first loan agreement. The current agreement corresponds not only to the policy of French Development Agency but also the Armenian government, which considers energy efficiency and saving programs as one of strategic areas of Armenia's economy development, the Ambassador noted.
To recall, Proparco is a subsidiary of Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) focused on private sector development. It has been promoting sustainable economic, social and environmental development practices for almost 40 years. Proparco provides funding and support to both businesses and financial institutions across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle-East. In 2013 Proparco signed its first credit facility agreement in Armenia and disbursed 15 million USD to Ameriabank for SME, energy efficiency and renewable energy project financing.
According to the Ranking of Armenian Banks by the Agency of Rating Marketing Information (ArmInfo), as of 1 October 2016 Ameriabank took the lead in lending 352.3 bln AMD ($742.5 mln), with a 21.4% year-over-year growth. 87% of this amount or 306.8 bln drams ($646.6 mln) were directed into the country's economy. The bank increased the amount of economy lending by 22.4% year-over-year. Mortgage lending by the bank grew 10.8% y-o-y to 18.6 bln drams or $39.3 mln. The Bank increased retail lending by 13% y-o-y tp 41.1 bln drams or $86.6 mln. By 1 October 2016, Ameriabank's net profit totaled 3.5 bln AMD ($7.4 mln) and gained leadership on the market. To note, Ameriabank's shareholders are Ameria Group CY Ltd (79.3%) and EBRD (20.7%).