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Araratbank will receive two local currency loans amounting to $10 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to support SMEs and female entrepreneurs.

The relevant agreement was signed on Monday by Ashot Osipyan, the Chairman of the Executive Board of Araratbank, and EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti.

Successful work of SMEs is very important for employment and VAT in the developing economies given that SMEs cannot always have an opportunity to receive funding, Suma Chakrabarti said.

Speaking about Armenia’s economy, Chakrabarti underscored importance of EBRD’s loan and technical assistance. The EBRD experts help in modernization of Armenia’s legislation for the development of capital market, cooperation between the government and private sector as well as establishment of business ombudsman institution.

“This helps in creating equal business climate. The Armenian government has carried out considerable work in this direction,” he said.

For his part, Ashot Osipyan recalled that these are local currency loans, and entrepreneurs will not face risks while repaying the loan.

“Businesswomen assistance projects have been in the spotlight of Araratbank. The first was launched with the Asian Development Bank. Now we will enhance experience with EBRD knowledge,” he added.

Araratbank has been working with EBRD for already eight years. Thanks to its knowledge and technologies, the bank has become a reliable partner for the leading European banks. Araratbank has credit lines with Raiffeisenbank and Commerzbank.

“As to the small and medium-sized businesses, we, among others, have been trained in financing instruments. Those working with us – exporters and importers, can be sure that they will get their profit from the sale, regardless of the transaction risks,” Osipyan said.

Major shareholders of Araratbank are Flash LLC with 64.24% share, EBRD with 25% share and Rural Impulse Fund with 10% share.

Since the start of its operations in Armenia in 1992, the EBRD has invested over €1.11 billion in 153 projects.

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