The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) has provided a local currency loan equivalent to US$10 million to Armenian partner ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK to expand access to financing for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) – contributing to a key priority of the EU4Business initiative. The investment will allow over 3,000 new loans to be issued to Armenian entrepreneurs in their own local currency.
The fourth largest bank in the country, ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK is the top provider of financing for micro, small, and medium enterprises. The bank is a long-standing strategic partner of EFSE that shares the fund’s commitment to fostering sustainable development by providing entrepreneurs with the financing and tools they need to succeed. By obtaining MSE-dedicated financing in Armenian dram, local businesses are able to fund their growth and long-term development while protected from exchange rate risks – a hazard that can weigh heavily on the viability of smaller-sized enterprises.
EFSE Board Chairman Christoph Tiskens said: “We are proud to be continuing this successful collaboration with ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK, a partner who has shown high dedication to EFSE’s target group of micro and small enterprises. The bank’s excellent know-how and strong presence in otherwise underserved areas positions it to contribute not only to financial inclusion for MSEs, but also to overall economic development in the country.”
“We are pleased to deepen our successful cooperation with EFSE," said ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK Chief Executive Officer Hakob Andreasyan. "This local currency loan will help the bank to strengthen its position in the financial system of Armenia and will support the development of MSMEs, which are the cornerstone of our economic development and whose access to local currency loans remains limited.”
The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) was initiated by KfW Development Bank (KfW) with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Commission under the EU4Business initiative.
EFSE focuses on assisting local financial sectors in strengthening their ability to ensure adequate and sustainable financing. The funding the EFSE provides as finance primarily for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) – but also for private households in the form of home improvement loans – is channelled to these loan customers through local partner lending institutions.