Press Releases

IFC Helps Armenian Bank Increase Lending to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, Boosting Growth

In Yerevan:
Anna Dira, IFC
Phone: +37410 545242

ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank
Marketing and Quality Division
Phone: +374 10 31 88 88

In Tbilisi:
Tamar Barbakadze, IFC
Phone: +995 32 23 00 00/01/02

In Washington, D.C.:
John McNally, IFC
Phone: (202) 458-0723

Yerevan, Armenia, March 30, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping Armenia’s ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank expand microfinance and lending to small and medium-sized companies, including those operating in agribusiness sector, supporting agriculture and overall economic growth in the country.

IFC will provide a $20 million loan to ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank, Armenia’s largest bank by total assets, and a leading microfinance provider with a strategic focus on the agribusiness sector. IFC’s loan will enable the bank to provide its clients more term financing, which has become scarce as a result of the recent financial crisis. The financing will directly benefit farmers and small companies in the vulnerable agribusiness sector.

“This new loan from IFC will enhance our market position and will enable us to further develop our strategy in lending to micro, small and medium-sized businesses, particularly in the agricultural sector,” said Stepan Gishyan, CEO of ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank. “We are sure that such lending is one of the main factors for economic development and we are pleased that IFC cooperates with us in this field.”

“The agriculture sector is the largest employer in Armenia, and has been negatively affected by the crisis and by adverse weather conditions last year,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Head for the Caucasus. “Our cooperation with this strategic agribusiness lender will enable us to reach more micro, small, and medium enterprises and agribusiness sector companies in the underserved regions outside the capital, helping improve access to finance and sustain jobs in the aftermath of the crisis.”

IFC partnered with ACBA Credit Agricole Bank in 2003 to establish ACBA Leasing, the first leasing company in Armenia. IFC invested equity and provided a long-term senior loan to help establish capital for ACBA Leasing.. In 2010, IFC provided another $3 million loan to ACBA Leasing to help provide leasing of capital goods to small and medium enterprises.

Since Armenia became a member of IFC in 1995, IFC has invested $110 million in 24 projects across industries, including financial markets, general manufacturing, and mining. IFC Advisory Services provides advice through projects focusing on the financial sector, sustainable energy, and investment climate regulatory simplification.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit

About ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank
ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank was established in 1995 in the scope of EU’s TACIS project. In 2006 Credit Agricole became its largest shareholder by investing significant financial contributions. The Bank is highly ranked both in Armenia and on the international financial market due to its financial stability and reliability. It is a key player in the Armenian banking system and ranked first in terms of total assets, loans, capital, as well as implementation and development of innovative technologies. . As of February 2011, ACBA had total assets of USD 462 million, a loan portfolio of USD 313 million and a capital of 108 million USD. For more information, visit