The FINANCIAL — Dushanbe, Tajikistan, June 6, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing AccessBank Tajikistan with a $4 million loan to expand lending to micro and small entrepreneurs in Tajikistan, part of IFC’s goal to reach more of the region’s poor and vulnerable.
“As AccessBank Tajikistan is still young institution we are pleased to obtain IFC’s support at this early stage of development. The loan further deepens our cooperation and will allow us to provide long term finance to local Tajik businesses. We hope that this transaction may also contribute to raise international donors’ and investors’ attention to the Tajik financial market,” said Thomas Engelhardt, AccessBank’s Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
This medium-term IFC loan will facilitate post-crisis recovery, support competition in the microfinance sector, and increase the volume and variety of lending products and services available to micro and small entrepreneurs and their families in Tajikistan.
“The demand for quality financial services in Tajikistan is very high,” said Tomasz Telma, IFC’s Associate Director for Central Asia and Azerbaijan. “With this investment we are supporting AccessBank Tajikistan on its road to becoming a sustainable deposit-taking institution. As one of the founders of AccessBank Tajikistan, we are confident in the bank’s strategy.”
Since pioneering commercial microfinance in the early 1990s, IFC has continued to lead innovation in microfinance, using developments in technology, financial products, and policy to help financial institutions reach a greater number of people in a more cost-effective way. The rapid growth of the industry over the past 15 years has helped reach approximately 130 million clients according to recent estimates.
IFC creates and supports commercially viable microfinance institutions that can attract the private capital needed to scale up and respond to unmet demand. Yet microfinance still reaches less than 20 percent of its potential market among the world’s three billion or more poor, making this deal particularly important for the impact it will have.
IFC has expanded its investment program in Tajikistan significantly in the last three years with commitments of $23 million in 11 projects in the financial markets, manufacturing, and infrastructure sectors. IFC’s advisory program in the country is the largest among Central Asian countries. Existing programs focus on developing financial markets through credit information systems, microfinance, agricultural finance, and leasing. IFC’s corporate governance program promotes transparency and good governance in larger companies.