Citi, OPIC and ACBA Credit Agricole Bank Support the Growth of the Microfinance Sector in Armenia
June 24, 2014
New York – Citi and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (“OPIC”) today announced a $10 million lending facility, using their existing framework partnership, to support the growth of ACBA Credit Agricole Bank’s agribusiness microfinance portfolio in the Republic of Armenia. The arrangement includes a new $5 million lending facility and the extension of a separate $5 million lending facility first announced in 2012. The financing partnership will promote the financial inclusion of Armenia’s micro-entrepreneurs, small businesses, and agriculture sector, and is part of Citi and OPIC’s collaboration to support microfinance lending in emerging markets around the world.
Through the successful partnership with OPIC, to date Citi has been able provide $381 million to fund 42 microfinance institutions in 22 countries, having a direct outreach to more than one million borrowers, approximately 92 percent of whom are women. Citi’s strong commitment to promote financial inclusion through innovation, thought leadership, and building the financial capability of clients is very well recognized. Citi’s partnership with OPIC to develop new distribution models to access micro entrepreneurs in developing markets was awarded the top prize in the International Award category at the Business in the Community’s Awards for Excellence 2012.
“Expanding access is at the heart of Citi’s inclusive finance work, and we are pleased to continue our impactful partnership with OPIC to broaden financial inclusion, promote economic empowerment and fuel sustainable growth for Armenia’s agribusiness sector,” said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development and Microfinance. “Access to safe and affordable capital is essential in helping small businesses and agri-producers establish themselves and create sustainable livelihoods.”
“In recent years, OPIC’s partnership with Citi has enabled OPIC to advance its work supporting development around the world by helping expand Citi’s private lending in emerging markets,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO. “This new lending facility to spur growth in the Armenian agribusiness sector is another important product of this partnership that mobilizes private capital for public good.”
“We highly appreciate our growing cooperation with Citi and OPIC in the field of microfinance and especially rural finance in our country”, said Hakob Andreasyan, CEO of ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank. “This cooperation enhances our lending capabilities to primary agribusiness clients which is vital for development of rural areas of Armenia. Small agricultural farms are very sensitive to economic and climate risks, and we are proud to continuously increase their access to financing”.
Working across Citi’s businesses, product groups and geographies, Citi Microfinance serves more than 150 microfinance institutions, networks and investors as clients and partners in 50 countries, with products and services spanning the financial spectrum – from financing, access to capital markets, transaction services and hedging foreign exchange risk, to credit, savings, remittances and insurance products - to expand access to financial services for the underserved. For more information, visit www.citi.com/citi/microfinance.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com| Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://new.citi.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi
OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guaranties, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.
Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has supported more than $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects, generated an estimated $76 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 278,000 American jobs.
For more information please visit www.opic.gov
About ACBA Credit Agricole Bank
ACBA is a top Armenian bank, 1st based on total capital (with a 8.7% market share), 4th based on total assets (with a 11.0% market share), 4th based on total loans (with a 10.4% market share) and 6th based on total deposits (with a 8.1% market share) as of 31 December 2013, all data based on standalone financial information filed by banks in Armenia with the Central Bank of Armenia. The Bank offers a broad range of retail banking, corporate banking, investment and insurance services to its clients.
ACBA was established in 1996, within TACIS program of the European Union. The functional establishment in 1996 was signaled by creation of ACBA bank and its three branches, and by the Central Bank of Armenia issuing a license for practicing banking activities on March 29, 1996. Long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation between ACBA Bank and the European leading French banking group Credit Agricole led Credit Agricole bank group to become the biggest shareholder of ACBA on September 15, 2006, by making a significant financial investment into the bank capital. ACBA was restructured, becoming a closed joint stock company and it was renamed ACBA Credit Agricole Bank.
Additional information may be found at www.acba.am