Luxembourg and Yerevan, 9 January 2024 – The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) reaffirms its commitment to fostering economic development in Armenia by providing a USD 5 million senior loan facility to its long-standing partner ARARATBANK. With this new facility, the partners aim to facilitate access to finance for micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and importantly those that are majority-owned or led by women and contribute to increased business competitiveness and inclusiveness in Armenia. ARARATBANK is a leading SME financier in the country with a proven strong track record in gender finance. EFSE’s investment will further solidify the Bank’s dedication to supporting women-owned or -led enterprises and promoting socio-economic empowerment and inclusiveness.
Finance in Motion Regional Director Oxana Binzaru said: “We are honored to continue our journey with ARARATBANK, a trusted partner that shares our mission to foster economic development. This USD 5 million investment is a testimony to our joint commitment to supporting MSMEs, particularly women-owned or led enterprises, and making a meaningful impact on Armenia’s economic landscape.”
Mher Ananyan, Chairman of the Executive Board of ARARATBANK, concluded: “This strategic partnership reflects our commitment to fostering local economic progress and empowering SMEs, which play a vital role in driving innovation, job creation, and overall economic stability. With the European Fund for Southeast Europe's expertise in financing and our bank's extensive network and resources, we are confident that this collaboration will have a significant impact on the business landscape in Armenia."
The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), advised by impact asset manager Finance in Motion, is an impact fund that takes a comprehensive approach to fostering economic development and prosperity in Southeast Europe and the EU Eastern Neighbourhood Region. By investing in local financial infrastructure that provides dedicated financing to micro, small and medium enterprises, the Fund supports the backbone of these regions' economy. As one of the largest MSME funds worldwide, it has a long and successful track record in building strategic partnerships with local financial players, providing tailored debt financing solutions, including local currency loans and targeted agri-financing. The Fund's investment activities are complemented by the nonfinancial support of the EFSE Development Facility, which builds capacities, facilitates knowledge exchange, and nourishes an environment for entrepreneurs to grow.
EFSE was initiated in 2005 by KfW Development Bank with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Commission. As the first public-private partnership of its kind, EFSE draws its capital from donor agencies, international financial institutions, and private institutional investors.
About Finance in Motion
Finance in Motion, Germany serves as EFSE’s advisor and is a global impact asset manager focused exclusively on sustainable development in emerging markets and developing economies. The company structures, manages, and advises impact investment funds that bring together public and private investors to address climate change, strengthen biodiversity conservation, foster the sustainable use of natural resources, improve livelihoods, and promote economic opportunities. EFSE’s impact is managed in line with the industry standard Operating Principles for Impact Management, also demonstrated by the strong results of the latest independent verification of the advisor’s impact management practices in 2023.
Founded in 1991, ARARATBANK OJSC is one of the leaders in the Armenian banking sector, providing the latest and highest quality banking services to both individuals and legal entities, applying cutting-edge technologies and creating a special business culture in bank-client relations.
With the innovative banking technologies and best practices of corporate governance, the bank has 50 branches across the country. ARARATBANK actively participates in the real sector of Armenian economy, particularly in SME lending. ARARATBANK cooperates with 17 reputable international financial institutions.
Media contact EFSE
Marketing & Communications
Phone: +352 691 336 439
Media contact Araratbank
Advisor on Public Relations
to the Executive Director of AraratBank
Phone: +374 10 59 23 23 (extension number – 8015)