by Arthur Yernjakyan
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping Armenia's Unibank increase access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) engaged in international trade transactions, boosting trade, economic growth, and job creation, the IFC press service told ArmInfo.
IFC will provide Unibank with a short-term revolving loan of up to $5 million designed specifically to support trade working capital. Unibank will use the loan to provide finance for the trade and foreign currency working capital needs of SMEs, who often struggle to get the finance they need to expand and create jobs.
"This new loan from IFC will help us offer good conditions to our borrowers, increasing opportunities for many Armenian entrepreneurs. Our approach aims to support growth and expansion of businesses, especially small and medium enterprises," said Vardan Atayan, Chairman of the Executive Board, Unibank.
In December 2013, IFC provided Unibank with a $5 million loan to address the long-term financing needs of its SME clients. IFC is also supporting the bank with advisory services aimed at improving risk management and SME credit processes.
"Small and medium-sized importers and exporters in Armenia often have limited access to this type of short-term finance solution to run their day-to-day operations," said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for the South Caucasus. "We hope that the project will address this challenge, benefit local companies and have a positive impact on the economy."
Armenia became a member and a shareholder of IFC in 1995. Since then, IFC has invested $287 million in 48 projects across a range of sectors, including financial markets, manufacturing, and mining. IFC advisory services provide advice on the financial sector, sustainable energy, business regulations, and food safety.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world's most pressing development challenges.
Unibank CJSC was founded in 2001. The bank has 45 branches across the country and one representative office in Moscow. All the branches of Unibank provide comprehensive banking services.