CENTRAL BANK OF ARMENIA PRAISES WORLD VISION’S MICROFINANCE INSTITUTION
Reuters AlertNet, UK
Source: World Vision Middle East/Eastern Europe office (MEERO)
Nov 13 2007
SEF International, a World Vision funded and owned microfinance
institution, was highly commended by the Chairman of Central Bank
of Armenia, Tigran Sarkissian, during the opening ceremony of the
organization’s new office in Yerevan.
‘SEF was the first organization to adopt the requirements of the
Central Bank, thus becoming the ‘flag-bearer’ of reforms in the sphere
of micro-financing’, Mr. Sarkissian said.
SEF International was registered in 1998 and in 2003 became the first
microfinance institution licensed by the Central Bank of Armenia as
a Universal Credit Organisation. For the decade of its activity, SEF
International has provided some 15,000 credits worth US $22 million.
The organization plans to enlarge its annual credit portfolio to US
$5 million, ensuring 50% growth compared to 2006.
‘SEF is constantly improving its services and widening our range of
products to meet clients’ requirements’, said Mark Kelly, World Vision
Armenia Country Director. He said SEF International’s mission is to
be a reliable and professional credit organization, thus helping
families to sustain their businesses and be able to provide for a
better future for their children.
Besides the head office in Yerevan, SEF also has three representative
offices in three ADP regions, and two branches in Sisian and Kapan.
Target clients of SEF International are those small entrepreneurs
and farmers who need credits and financial consultations to develop
their businesses, as well as individuals who need financial resources
to cover family emergency expenses. By providing loans through its
branches, SEF International promotes entrepreneurship, agriculture
development and new jobs. Thanks to SEF International, 14,000 jobs
have been created and sustained so far.
In 2005 and 2006 SEF International received Financial Transparency
Awards of World Bank’s Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)
that confirms institution’s compliance with international requirements
for transparency of financial operations and reliability of its
[ Any views expressed in this article are those of the writer and
not of Reuters. ]