The Micro Finance Bank of Azerbaijan has signed an agreement on a USD 5m Loan with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Baku on 6 October. The agreement was signed by George Krivicky, Director for the Caucasus at EBRD, and Thomas Engelhardt, General Manager of MFBA. The loan will be extended for a maturity of six years.

The loan will enable MFBA to extend much needed credits to micro and small businesses, and to expand to more regions of the country The fist step of regional expansion will be the opening of a branch in Sumgait, which is expected before the end of October. Additional regions will be covered starting in 2004.

MFBA’s loan portfolio has reached USD 2.6 million and more than 1.500 outstanding loans by the end of September. In total, more than 2.300 loans for USD 4,3 million have been disbursed since the Bank’s opening 11 months ago. More than 800 loans have been fully repaid.

Micro Loans up to USD 10,000 are extended for a maximum maturity of six months, whereas Small Loans between USD 10,000 and 30,000 can be given for up to 12 months for working capital. The monthly interest rates are 3% and 2,5% respectively. Quick and lean procedures are valued by the clients as much as flexible collateral requirements.

MFBA has been founded by a group of international shareholders (EBRD, IFC, Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, LFS Financial Systems) and is supported by the EU TACIS programme and KfW. The Bank is managed by an international team of experienced bankers. Apart from its credit products, MFBA offers current account ad Western Union money transfer services.

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