New Delhi: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Armeconombank OJSC (AEB) have signed a $15 million loan to support lending to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Armenia, with a specific focus on women and areas outside the capital, Yerevan.
“We are very pleased to be partnering with AEB to support MSMEs. The impact of MSMEs on Armenia’s economy is significant, and they are particularly important for women as they are avenues for their increased participation and contribution to the country’s economic development,” said Director of Financial Institutions at ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department Christine Engstrom.
MSME financing is constrained in Armenia, especially for businesses owned and run by women. It is estimated that half of Armenia’s 130,000 MSMEs have no access to commercial financing, and up to 60%-70% in rural areas.
“AEB’s strong track record in the MSME market, and their support of women-owned enterprises, are specifically in line with ADB’s objectives and priorities in promoting private sector participation and gender-related projects in Armenia,” said Country Director for Armenia Paolo Spantigati.
AEB has been listed on the Armenian stock exchange since 2002. The bank has a large network of 52 branches across the country, 23 located outside the capital Yerevan, giving it a large rural footprint. AEB has been a partner bank in ADB’s Trade Finance Program since 2011.
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.