ALMATY — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and leading microfinance organization “KMF” Limited Liability Company (KMF) signed a loan of up to $15 million or its tenge equivalent to expand access to credit for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Kazakhstan.
“MSMEs are a driving force for Kazakhstan’s economic growth and diversification but many of these businesses, especially those owned or led by women, find it hard to access long-term finance,” said ADB Vice-President for Private Sector Operations and Public–Private Partnerships Ashok Lavasa. “This loan is ADB’s first intervention in Kazakhstan’s financial sector in several years. It will support KMF’s efforts to improve financial inclusion and contribute to Kazakhstan’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“This is our first loan from ADB and we see it as a symbol of trust in the reliability and sustainability of our microfinancing program as well as in our 25 years of successful operations in the country. These funds will be used to finance entrepreneurs, especially in rural areas. The impact of our work with ADB will directly support the development of micro-lending in Kazakhstan,” said KMF CEO Shalkar Zhussupov.
MSMEs account for at least 38% of jobs in Kazakhstan and generate more than 27% of gross domestic product, despite a lack of access to finance. ADB’s loan will help KMF to deploy additional funds to finance MSMEs in a range of sectors, and to address social inequalities and limited opportunities, including for women.
Since joining ADB in 1994, Kazakhstan has received over $6 billion in sovereign and nonsovereign loans, guarantees, and technical assistance for agriculture, irrigation, finance, transport, energy, water supply and sanitation among others. Though the assistance to KMF is its first private sector support for a financial institution in Kazakhstan in over 10 years, ADB is very active in the country, providing advisory services and capacity building in areas including public audit, accrual budgeting, financial integrity, investment promotion, and venture financing.
ADB’s support in Kazakhstan is closely aligned with the country’s development priorities, including developing infrastructure, strengthening institutions, creating jobs, protecting the environment, and promoting innovation. Recent ADB support includes projects to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 and strengthen access for women to affordable housing, particularly in provinces. ADB has also helped to modernize transport infrastructure along the Aktobe–Makat and Aktobe–Kandyagash roads—key economic corridors that help to integrate Kazakhstan into the regional and global economy through the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program. ADB also supports public–private partnerships and private sector renewable energy projects.
KMF is the largest microfinance institution in Kazakhstan offering financial services to MSMEs who are underserved by the banks, especially in rural and remote areas. It is active in most of Kazakhstan’s regions, with a network of 111 branches and suboffices across the country.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.