The FINANCIAL — Bank of Georgia has started issuing energy efficiency loans for small and medium businesses. The new offer has several advantages including profitable loan terms and conducting an energy audit free of charge.
Energocredit loans will be available under the energy efficiency programme funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) with 10 million USD.
“Energy efficiency loans have been accessible for corporations as well as for physical individuals since 2010,” said Vazha Menabde, Director of the SME Banking Service Department at Bank of Georgia. “These loans are now available for small and medium businesses.”
Bank of Georgia has already issued loans of about 5 million USD from the whole amount of the EBRD loan for corporations and physical individuals. Now SMEs will also have access to the second part of this money.
“Bank of Georgia is a unique bank and therefore we try to cover all sectors and renew products on a regular basis,” Menabde stated. “This is an unprecedented offer for SMEs in the Georgian banking market. Small and medium businesses will be able to use the credit with profitable terms. Our clients will get loans with a lower interest rate. We issue about a two percent-less rate compared to the general rates.”
The amount of the energy efficiency loan starts from 20,000 USD and the maximum margin is 500,000 USD. Loans are available for up to 60 months and complicity of the borrower is not needed.
The energy efficiency loan has other advantages as well. The borrower has the opportunity to get an energy audit and consultations from professionals free of charge.
“Investing in energy efficiency helps businesses to reduce energy consumption, increase their production, consume energy more efficiently, cut costs and increase competition in the market,” said Murad Kharaishvili, local lead engineer of the energy efficiency programme. “The savings of the enterprises will vary from 10 percent up to 20 percent depending on their size, possibilities and amount of goods produced. This saving could be used for the interest rate of the loans.”
“Our team offers a free energy audit to help companies determine investing programmes and implement them,” he added.
“Consultations help our borrowers to plan and calculate their projects properly,” Menabde stated.
The process of issuing an energy efficiency loan is quite simple. Representative of small and medium enterprises have to apply for the loan at Bank of Georgia. Then EBRD consultants conduct a business audit free of charge and calculate how efficient the enterprise will become after using the energocredit as well as how much money the enterprise will save. According to the result of EBRD consultants’ audit Bank of Georgia will issue the loan.
Additional information about the energy efficiency program as well as advice on energy saving equipment is available on the webpage www.energocredit.ge.
Bank of Georgia is the leading Georgian bank, based on total assets (with a 36% market share), total loans (with a 36% market share) and client deposits (with a 34% market share) as of 30 June 2011, all data based on standalone financial information filed by banks in Georgia with the National Bank of Georgia. The Bank offers a broad range of corporate banking, retail banking, wealth management, brokerage and insurance services to its clients.
Bank of Georgia currently has 425 ATMs, the biggest network in Georgia. The number of their service centres has reached up to 151 across Georgia. Seven of these centres are working 24 hourly and 23 are located on the underground. The Bank owns 627,000 plastic cards, out of which 112,000 are credit cards. Bank of Georgia has issued 521,167 debit cards and 122,180 with 99,364 American Express cards as of November 30, 2011.