The EBRD is extending a €5mn credit line to Armenia’s Anelik Bank to support its on-lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME). The credit line will contribute to the Armenian banking system by delivering MSME finance on a large and sustainable scale.

Anelik, ranked eighth in the Armenian banking sector by total assets, is a medium-sized bank which specialises in MSME lending and money transfer business. It is dynamically growing and is now expanding its business to offer a wider scope of retail products. The EBRD loan will provide still lacking medium-term funding and will be used for on-lending to local micro and small enterprises, addressing a major constraint for the growth of this segment of the economy.

The credit line, the EBRD’s fourth MSME line to Anelik, comes under the bank’s Armenian Multi-Bank Finance Facility. Anelik is one of the most active EBRD partner banks under the Armenian Multi-Bank Finance Facility and Armenia Microlending Programme, an institution-building Technical Cooperation Programme designed to facilitate MSE lending of partner banks. Technical Cooperation funds have been provided by USAid and the EBRD’s Early Transition Countries Multi-Donor Fund.

The EBRD remains one of key providers of medium-term finance and expertise to the Armenian banking sector. This project will allow smaller companies to receive swift access to reliable finance based on their entrepreneurial skills and the success of their business, says Olivier Descamps, EBRD business group director.

“We are happy to continue our strong relationship with the EBRD with this credit line, and, in general, with any potential projects in the future,” says Samvel Chzmachian, chairman of the board of Anelik Bank. “

Through its micro and small enterprises programmes, the EBRD has supported over 1mn small enterprises throughout eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. The EBRD works with over 70 commercial banks and non-bank microfinance institutions to establish or expand specialised micro and small business finance units and to date has lent over US$1bn to facilitate US$15bn in loans to micro and small businesses in the region.