The EBRD has extended a credit line worth US$2mn to an Azerbaijani financial institution to help provide financing specifically for Azerbaijan’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).

The credit line is being opened to AzeriGazBank under the Azeri Multi-bank Framework Financing Facility. The credit line is for on-lending to micro and small enterprise clients of AzeriGazBank with borrowing requirements ranging from just US$100 up to US$400,000. The financing is aimed at promoting entrepreneurial activities especially outside of the capital Baku. Under the framework, EBRD offers technical cooperation to help the participating banks extend this service further into the regions.

This is the fourth bank in Azerbaijan to be included in the EBRD’s programme to support micro and small enterprises since it was launched last year. The programme is targeted towards providing the smallest enterprises with access to the formal financial market and to providing commercial banks technical support to on-lend the funds safely and efficiently.

The five-year credit line will be divided into two equal tranches of US$1mn for micro and small enterprise (MSE) and SME finance. The line will help AzeriGazBank to expand its MSE and SME lending operations further into the regions including Shamakhi, Ganja and Lenkoran.