Byblos Bank Armenia To Get $10mln Synthetic Loan From EBRD

BYBLOS BANK ARMENIA TO GET $10MLN SYNTHETIC LOAN FROM EBRD

ArmInfo
09.03.2010

ArmInfo. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
is making financing of private business in Armenia more accessible
by providing Byblos Bank Armenia with $10mln loan, the first credit
in Armenia to have an AMD component.

The press service of Byblos Bank Armenia reports that EBRD’s credit
private business financing program includes a synthetic loan in AMD
equivalent to $5mln, to be used for financing local companies and
floating capital. The other $5mln will be spent on co-financing of
the bank’s bigger loans. In the framework of synthetic lending EBRD
provides money at a fixed USD/AMD exchange rate.

The synthetic loan will help Byblos Bank Armenia to reduce currency
risk, to prolong periods of crediting of national currency and to
enlarge the AMD credit portfolio.

EBRD Financial Director for Central Asia, the Caucasus and Mongolia
Mike Taylor says that this program is supposed to stimulate financial
intermediation in Armenia’s banking system and to create opportunities
for financing the real economy sector in AMD. The money will help
Armenia to further develop its private sector.

CEO of Byblos Bank Armenia George Sfeir welcomes EBRD’s program. He
says that this program proves that EBRD trusts Byblos Bank Armenia
and the Armenian economy. This deal will allow the bank to further
enlarge its strategy on the market.

In early autumn 2007 100% of the shares of ITB were bought by Byblos
Bank SAL (Lebanon), after which the bank was renamed into Byblos
Bank Armenia. Presently, Byblos Bank SAL holds a 65% stake in the
bank with the rest belonging to EBRD (25%) and OFID (10%).

EBRD has so far allocated a total of 335mln EUR for supporting 70
projects in the financial, corporate, infrastructural and energy
sectors of Armenia. This year EBRD’s credit portfolio in Armenia will
grow by $130mln.

The first EBRD synthetic loan in the South Caucasus was given to
Azeri AccessBank in late 2009.

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