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BSTDB Steps Up Support for SMEs in Armenia to Tackle COVID-19 Crisis

Press Release | 26-Mar-2020

The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) is extending a USD 20 million facility to its partner Ardshinbank to fuel support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Armenia. This BSTDB’s fifth SME facility demonstrates the strengthened cooperation between the two banks to jointly assist this most vulnerable business segment amid the turmoil caused by the outbreak of the Covid-19 infection.

The facility has a maturity period of 5 years, which will enable Ardshinbank to offer the much-needed medium-term financing for SMEs capital expenditures and working capital needs.

“In these difficult times the BSTDB is sympathetic to the efforts our Member States make to contain the spread of the coronavirus and reduce the negative impact it has on human lives, societies and economic activity. Given the current critical conditions and changes in market perceptions of risk and liquidity, the Bank continues to assist the most vulnerable segment of companies, SMEs, and to provide support that our member countries and businesses need,” said Dmitry Pankin, BSTDB President.

Artak Ananyan, Chairman of the Management Board of Ardshinbank, commented: “We highly value the long-term cooperation with BSTDB. Currently, when businesses, especially small and medium, face economic distress, this financing opportunity for Armenian enterprises is way more vital than ever. We are ready to assist SMEs to quickly tackle issues that are exacerbated by the current emergency.”

BSTDB is actively supporting the SME sector development in Armenia, having allocated over EUR 130 million for the purpose through local financial institutions, including USD 35 million through Ardshinbank.

Founded in 2002, Ardshinbank is one of the leading banks in Armenia with a network of 63 branches in Yerevan and the regions. The SME share of the Bank’s outstanding portfolio amounts to 15%, corporate loans to 46%, and micro and retail loans to 39%. Throughout its history, the Bank has been recognized multiple times as the Best Bank, Bank of the Year and the Safest Bank in Armenia by different professional publications and analytical institutions.

The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) is an international financial institution established by Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. The BSTDB headquarters are in Thessaloniki, Greece. BSTDB supports economic development and regional cooperation by providing loans, credit lines, equity and guarantees for projects and trade financing in the public and private sectors in its member countries. The authorized capital of the Bank is EUR 3.45 billion. BSTDB is rated long-term “A-” by Standard and Poor’s and “A2” by Moody’s. For information on BSTDB, visit www.bstdb.org.

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