The EBRD continues to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Kazakhstan with a new loan to Bank CenterCredit (BCC), a local partner bank for the purpose of on-lending to SMEs.
The loan of 13.5 billion tenge (US$ 50 million equivalent) follows another recently signed transaction with BCC to provide financing to women-run and owned SMEs. The total amount of financing the EBRD has extended to BCC so far has reached US$ 115 million. All of it is dedicated to private SMEs, either as direct lending or cross-border trade support.
The loan agreement was signed by Kazakhstan's President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, during his visit to London.
Signing the loan agreement, Mike Taylor, EBRD Director for Financial Institutions, Central Asia, Caucasus and Mongolia, said: "The EBRD attaches the greatest importance to the development of small and medium-sized enterprises in our countries of operations. We are pleased to partner with BCC on this new local currency credit line which will help local companies avoid foreign exchange risks."
Vladislav Lee, CEO of Bank CenterCredit, said: "The credit line from the EBRD will support the government's efforts to reform the economy of Kazakhstan, particularly in stimulating the growth of small and medium-sized businesses. In the current environment with many small businesses having limited access to credit funds, we are convinced that the EBRD's loan will help local entrepreneurs to develop and maintain their current operations."
The new 13.5 billion tenge loan is fully guaranteed by Kazakhstan's national entrepreneurship development fund, DAMU.
DAMU's Chairwoman, Lyazzat Ibragimova, said: "This credit line aimed at SMEs will allow more dynamic companies in Kazakhstan to access financing, especially in the regions."
This year, the EBRD is planning to invest about US$ 1 billion in Kazakhstan.