GGF MAKES FIRST INVESTMENT IN AZERBAIJAN WITH USD 15 MILLION LOAN TO ACCESSBANK
- AccessBank is the only specialized microfinance bank in Azerbaijan and a pioneer in energy efficiency (EE) financing in the country
- Investment expected to yield annual energy savings of over 43,500 MWh and CO2 emission reductions of over 21,000 tons
Luxembourg and Baku, 15 August 2014 - The Green for Growth Fund, Southeast Europe (GGF) made its first investment in Azerbaijan with a USD 15 million energy efficiency senior loan to AccessBank (the Bank), a specialized microfinance bank.
AccessBank holds a leading position in Azerbaijan's microfinance sector, serving more than 150,000 clients in the country via an extensive network of 41 branches. The GGF loan will enable AccessBank to expand its lending capabilities and provide energy efficiency (EE) financing to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) throughout Azerbaijan. The new loan will increase the Bank's long-term financing capacities and will enable its customers to invest in much needed EE upgrades of equipment and machinery as well as in improved insulation.
The outreach of these measures will be enhanced by targeted support provided by the GGF Technical Assistance Facility. This support includes strengthening institutional capacities in energy efficiency assessment as well as in promoting EE loans and implementing monitoring and reporting procedures.
"We are delighted to launch our work in Azerbaijan with the market leader in MSME financing," said Christopher Knowles, Chairman of the Green for Growth Fund, Southeast Europe. "As AccessBank is clearly focused on this sector, this investment will quickly have an impact on the energy consumption of this country."
"We see particular opportunities for equipment and machinery investment by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)", commented Kenan Agayev, Executive Director of AccessBank for SME Lending/Corporate Services on the transaction.
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ABOUT THE GREEN FOR GROWTH FUND, SOUTHEAST EUROPE (GGF)
The Green for Growth Fund, Southeast Europe (GGF) is dedicated to enhancing energy efficiency and fostering the use of renewable energy sources in Southeast Europe, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey as well as in the nearby European Eastern Neighbourhood region comprised of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The GGF provides refinancing to financial institutions for on-lending to enterprises and private households seeking to finance energy efficiency projects. The GGF also invests directly in small to medium-scale renewable energy projects. To maximize the impact of the Fund's investment activities, the GGF's Technical Assistance Facility offers capacity building support to local financial institutions and partners. The GGF was initiated as a public-private partnership in December 2009 by the KfW Development Bank (KfW) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) with the financial support of the European Commission, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Its growing investor base comprises donor agencies, international financial institutions and institutional private investors, and recently added the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO). The GGF, registered under Luxembourg law as a SICAV (variable capital investment company), is privately managed by Oppenheim Asset Management Services S.à r.l., Luxembourg, in concert with the fund advisor, Finance in Motion GmbH, Frankfurt/Main, Germany, and the technical advisor, MACS Management & Consulting Services GmbH, Frankfurt/Main, Germany. For more information: www.ggf.lu
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of independence.
AccessBank was established in 2002 by Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, EBRD, IFC, KfW, a German consulting company LFS Financial Systems GmbH and AccessHolding. AccessBank provides loans to micro and small businesses and has a wide network of branches in Azerbaijan employing more than 2000 people. Fitch Ratings assessed AccessBank as BB+, the highest credit rating among all banks in Azerbaijan. For more information, please visit www.accessbank.az
Media contact GGF
Phone: +49 (0)69/977 876 50-320
Media contact AccessBank
Phone: (99412) 490 80 10