Thursday, December 15 2016 19:19
Alina Hovhannisyan

EBRD provides $10 mln loan to Ameriabank for on-lending to women-led SMEs

EBRD provides $10 mln loan to Ameriabank for on-lending to women-led  SMEs

ArmInfo. The European Bank  for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting the  development of female entrepreneurship in Armenia by extending a  local currency loan, equivalent to US$10 million, to Ameriabank for  on-lending to women-led small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

The loan comes under the expansion of the Bank's Women in Business  programme to include the Eastern Partnership countries, the  press-service of Ameriabank informs. 

The EBRD Women in Business programme was created to strengthen the  role of women in the economy and to date has been rolled out  successfully in 25 countries where the Bank invests. It provides  access to finance through credit lines to local banks as well as  business advice, training and support for women entrepreneurs and  women-led enterprises.

The programme combines financing, technical assistance, risk  mitigation in the form of first-loss cover for local financial  institutions and business advisory services to support women-led  SMEs. Technical assistance and advisory services are jointly funded  by the EBRD and the governments of Luxembourg and Sweden.

Ameriabank is one of the leading banks in Armenia and ranked first by  assets, loan portfolio, and client accounts and deposits (according  to public reports as of 30.09.16).  The EBRD became a shareholder in  the bank earlier this year when it acquired a 20 per cent stake.  Ameriabank is the first financial institution in Armenia to join the  Women in Business programme.

Mark Davis, Head of the EBRD's Yerevan office, said: "Women represent  a huge economic force in the Armenian economy and it is imperative  that conditions are created to allow them to succeed. We are  therefore keen to start this very important initiative in Armenia.  Female entrepreneurship can be a major catalyst for the country's  economy. I am confident this credit line, together with the  additional combination of advice, know-how and non-financial support  services from our Women in Business team will help women  entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and prosper further."

Artak Hanesyan, CEO of Ameriabank, said:  "I welcome the EBRD's  initiative to boost the role of women in the Armenian economy.  Women  entrepreneurs have successfully entered and predominated in specific  niche areas in the SME sector in Armenia. I believe that with focused  support from the financial sector they can further expand their  entrepreneurship and enter industries where Armenia has traditionally  seen obvious gender imbalance. This programme will also allow for SME  development as it gives an entire set of both financial and  non-financial tools that will truly empower a very specific target  audience with a huge potential."

To recall, since the start of its operations in Armenia in 1992, the  EBRD has invested over ?1.11 billion in 153 projects in the country's  financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 88 per  cent of these investments being in the private sector.

According to ArmInfo's Financial Rating of Armenian Banks, as of  October 1 2016, Ameriabank had a leadership position in the local  banking market by assets - 524.1 bln drams (up 18.5% y-o-y), by  credit exposures - 352.3 bln drams (up 21.4% y-o-y), business loans -  306.8 bln drams (up 22.4%). The bank is among leaders also in terms  of financing the industrial sector (including in energy field),  agriculture, construction, trade, public catering and services.   Efficient placement of loans enabled the bank to ensure 3.5 bln drams  of net profit for 9 months of 2016 (1st place in the market). The  bank has leadership positions by liabilities:  both the time deposits  and call liabilities.  Ameriabank CJSC is a universal bank offering  corporate, investment and retail banking services in a comprehensive  package of banking solutions. Ameria Group CY Ltd.-79.3% and  EBRD-20.7% are the shareholders of the Bank. 

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