EBRD finalized SME lending project in Bank Eskhata

mrc_fin9The Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) lending project was successfully completed in Bank Eskhata. The project was funded from EBRD shareholders’ special fund. Technical assistance within the project’s framework was provided by the Swiss consulting company Business & Finance Consulting (BFC).

The closing ceremony was held in the Republic’s capital. BFC consultants and project Partner Banks participated in this event. Following the ceremony, appreciation letters were presented to Bank Eskhata’s management for their significant contribution to project implementation and the development of Tajikistan’s economy.

“During the project implementation, Bank Eskhata demonstrated itself as a reliable partner. Currently the Bank is independently and successfully developing in the area of SME lending,” mentioned Maik Iwanowski, bank adviser and project leader from BFC.

Project implementation started in September 2009. Within the project’s framework, over million were granted to around 100 clients. These funds were channeled primarily to investment and new product development purposes. The key advantages of SME lending were longer loan terms and lower interest rates. Providing financing and support to SME stimulates production, creates new jobs, increases the Government’s budget revenues and leads to overall economic development of Tajikistan.

“In the course of the project, BFC improved the quality of the Bank’s credit services in the areas of loan assessment, approval and monitoring. Special attention was given to capacity development and improvement of SME lending,” mentioned Nosirchion Oripov, Head of the Credit Department of Bank Eskhata.

BFC representatives expressed their satisfaction with the quality of the program implementation, and highly appreciated the Bank’s cooperation and productive activities.

During its 8 years of cooperation with EBRD, Bank Eskhata set-up operations according to international standards and achieved significant improvement of loan portfolio indicators, capital growth, client service and overall bank operations.

Background Information:

EBRD has been operating in Tajikistan since December 1996, having made investments of million was in the country’s economy. EBRD investments into the financial sector amount to million, of which million was allocated to Bank Eskhata. EBRD started its cooperation with Bank Eskhata in 2004.

In 2008, EBRD’s Management Board has approved a new financial sector support program for Tajikistan. SME lending development is among the key tasks of the program. The program allocates up to million to the development of financial sector of the country. Within the program’s framework, partner banks receive technical assistance for the development of SME lending.

BFC is one of the leading consulting companies in development finance, specializing in providing consulting services for SME lending in the emerging market countries of Eastern Europe and Asia.

BFC was established in 2003. The company’s Head Office is located in Zurich, Switzerland. BFC staff consists of 53 employees working in offices located in Moldova, Georgia, Russia and Tajikistan.