EBRD Finances Byblos Bank Armenia

EBRD FINANCES BYBLOS BANK ARMENIA

RIA OREANDA
March 9 2010
Russia

Yerevan . OREANDA-NEWS . March 09, 2010. The EBRD is increasing the
availability of financing to private businesses in Armenia, with a
USD10 million financing package to Byblos Bank Armenia, which will
include a local currency element, a first for an EBRD financing in
Armenia, reported the press-centre of EBRD.

The EBRD facility, for on-lending to private enterprises, includes
a synthetic loan in Armenian Dram (AMD) for an amount equivalent to
up to USD 5 million, which will be used to finance investments and
working capital needs of local businesses, and an additional USD 5
million to co-finance Byblos Bank Armenias larger sub-loans.

Under the synthetic loan structure, the EBRD is providing the financing
in US dollars at a pre-determined fixed USD/AMD exchange rate. Byblos
Bank Armenias loan obligation is therefore the AMD counter-value
of the provided funds. The synthetic local currency loan will help
Byblos Bank Armenia reduce its foreign exchange risk, increase the
term of its local currency funding, and expand its portfolio of loans
in local currency.

The EBRD funds will enable Byblos Bank Armenia to facilitate the access
to much needed financing for businesses operating in the country in
the current tight credit market.

This transaction will boost the financial intermediation in the
Armenian banking sector, bringing new financing in local currency
to the countrys real economy. The EBRD funds will support further
development of the private sector, addressing an important constraint
for the economic growth in Armenia, said Mike Taylor, EBRD Director,
Financial Institutions, Central Asia, Caucasus, and Mongolia.

Byblos Bank Armenia welcomes the EBRDs facility in order to jointly
support the private businesses in the Republic of Armenia.

It demonstrates EBRD’s confidence in the strength of our bank and in
the economy of the country. This transaction will further allow us to
pursue our expansion strategy in the market, said Mr. Georges Sfeir,
CEO of Byblos Bank Armenia.

Since the beginning of its operations in Armenia, the EBRD has
committed over EUR335 million in approximately 70 projects in the
financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors.

About Byblos Bank Armenia Byblos Bank Armenia CJSC is operated as an
independent subsidiary of the Byblos Bank Group since 2007. For Byblos
Bank, the Republic of Armenia represents a very significant market
with high potential especially for retail and commercial activities.

Byblos Bank has an active presence in 11 countries across Europe,
the Middle East, and Africa: Lebanon, the United Kingdom, France,
Belgium, Armenia, Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Iraq,
Sudan, and Nigeria.

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