The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) in co-operation with the Izmirlian Foundation (IF) has committed US$2mn each for direct medium and long-term financing for Armenian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The BSTDB-IF joint finance facility is established in
- Yerevan to administer loans to local SMEs.
The facility will provide loans in US dollars or in euro for capital expenditure and working capital requirements of the borrower. Loan amounts range from US$125,000 up to US$500,000. The maximum term of the loans is five years, with the maximum grace period of six months. Interest rates will range between 10% and 12% per annum.
The project constitutes the BSTDB’s first investment in Armenia and will contribute to the development of the SME sector, which is a prime operational focus of the BSTDB in Armenia. The loan facility aims to support SMEs in their effort to improve quality of work and production capacity that would create greater business opportunities and boost economic initiative in such important sectors as manufacturing, services, transportation and food processing. Offering technical assistance of high expertise and sharing best operational practice will also have sound impact on investment climate in Armenia.
The Izmirlian Foundation is an investment and philanthropic organisation created in 1994. It has contributed regularly and generously to various projects in Armenia in such fields as education and health. In 1999, the foundation, jointly with Eurasia Foundation of Washington DC, launched a loan programme for SMEs in Armenia (The Izmirlian Eurasia Small Business Loan Program). The Izmirlian-BSTDB collaboration is an extension of the foundation’s efforts to improve the business atmosphere and foster the creation of employment in Armenia.
Black Sea Trade and Development Bank is an international financial institution established by Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. With an authorised capital of SDR1bn (US$1.325bn), the bank supports economic development and regional co-operation by providing financing, guarantees, and equity for projects supporting both public and private enterprises in its member countries. Since the commencement of operations in 1999, the BSTDB’s board of directors has approved operations totalling over US$430mn.