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YEREVAN.- A member of the World Bank Group – International Finance Corporation, is partnering with Byblos Bank Armenia to help it expand mortgage lending and offer residential energy-efficiency financing, helping save energy resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

IFC is providing a $10 million loan to Byblos Bank Armenia to offer its clients increased access to housing finance and also to the first-ever residential energy-efficiency lending package offered by a local bank in Armenia. Byblos Bank Armenia will design its energy-efficiency products with advisory support from IFC’s Armenia Sustainable Energy Finance Project.

Ararat Ghukasyan, Chief Executive Officer of Byblos Bank Armenia, said, “By promoting energy efficiency and energy-efficient lending products, we can help homeowners in Armenia to reduce their annual energy bills, lead more environmentally friendly lifestyles, and improve the health, comfort, and safety of their homes. This is the first funding of this nature in Armenia, hence it is equally important to our customers and to Byblos Bank Armenia.”

Tomasz Telma, IFC Director for Europe and Central Asia, said: “Our strategy in Armenia is to increase access to finance, including energy-efficiency finance, and to encourage sustainable economic growth, support job creation, and diversify the country’s economic base. By working with financial intermediaries such as Byblos Bank Armenia we can achieve significant development impact in a country that relies heavily on energy imports.”

IFC will provide training for Byblos Bank Armenia credit officers and risk specialists to educate them in assessing risks and processing energy-efficiency loan applications. Armenia, a country with few fossil energy resources, has strong demand for energy efficiency because of the high cost of energy.

Since Armenia became a member of IFC in 1995, IFC has invested $202 million in 35 projects across the industry spectrum, including financial markets, manufacturing, and mining.

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