YEREVAN, June 27. / ARKA /. Citi and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (“OPIC”) have announced a $10 million lending facility, using their existing framework partnership, to support the growth of ACBA CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK’s agribusiness microfinance portfolio in the Republic of Armenia.
According to a press release, the arrangement includes a new $5 million lending facility and the extension of a separate $5 million lending facility first announced in 2012. The financing partnership will promote the financial inclusion of Armenia’s micro-entrepreneurs, small businesses, and agriculture sector, and is part of Citi and OPIC’s collaboration to support microfinance lending in emerging markets around the world.
“Expanding access is at the heart of Citi’s inclusive finance work, and we are pleased to continue our impactful partnership with OPIC to broaden financial inclusion, promote economic empowerment and fuel sustainable growth for Armenia’s agribusiness sector,” said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development and Microfinance.
“Access to safe and affordable capital is essential in helping small businesses and agri-producers establish themselves and create sustainable livelihoods.” “In recent years, OPIC’s partnership with Citi has enabled OPIC to advance its work supporting development around the world by helping expand Citi’s private lending in emerging markets,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO.
“This new lending facility to spur growth in the Armenian agribusiness sector is another important product of this partnership that mobilizes private capital for public good.”
“We highly appreciate our growing cooperation with Citi and OPIC in the field of microfinance and especially rural finance in our country,” said Hakob Andreasyan, CEO of ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK.
“This cooperation enhances our lending capabilities to primary agribusiness clients which is vital for development of rural areas of Armenia. Small agricultural farms are very sensitive to economic and climate risks and we are proud to continuously increase their access to financing”.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guaranties, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.
ACBA was established in 1996, within TACIS program of the European Union. Long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation between ACBA Bank and the European leading French banking group Credit Agricole led Credit Agricole bank group to become the biggest shareholder of ACBA on September 15, 2006, by making a significant financial investment into the bank capital. ACBA was restructured, becoming a closed joint stock company and it was renamed ACBA CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK.
The bank’s assets on April 1, 2014 amounted to 264.6 billion drams ($640.2 million), credit investments stood at 178 billion drams ($430.6 million), equity capital – at 53 billion drams ($128.2 million), the amount of deposits stood at 109.6 billion drams ($265.1 million). The bank runs now 49 branches across the country. The bank runs 49 branches across Armenia. ($1 – 408.12 drams). -0-