The FINANCIAL -- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a $25 million subordinated loan to AccessBank, one of Azerbaijan’s leading financial institutions, in order to spur lending to smaller businesses, helping drive job creation and economic development across the country.
IFC’s support to AccessBank, a long-time IFC partner, will help the bank serve more micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Such businesses are key sources of employment and innovation, but often face limited access to loans and other vital forms of financing. The project is expected to contribute to the development of Azerbaijan’s non-oil sector, fostering sustainable development, according to IFC.
“We strongly welcome the support from our close partner and shareholder, IFC,” commented Michael Hoffmann, CEO of AccessBank. “The funds will be on-lent through our bank's extensive branch network to our MSME clients, which will further stimulate the economy in these important market segments.”
Aliya Azimova, IFC Country Representative in Azerbaijan, said: “IFC provides investment and advisory services to support private sector growth in Azerbaijan. Our cooperation with AccessBank will increase financial inclusion in Azerbaijan and boost economic diversification.”
IFC, acting with other international financial institutions, promoted the establishment of AccessBank in 2002. Since then, the bank has become the largest financial institution in Azerbaijan specializing in MSMEs, providing important financial services to the poor.
Azerbaijan became a member of IFC in 1995. Since then, IFC has invested more than $365 million in 54 long-term finance projects in the financial services, infrastructure, and manufacturing sectors, and mobilized nearly $73 million from other lenders. IFC has also supported trade worth about $78 million through its trade finance program, and implemented advisory projects focused on private sector development.