YEREVAN, September 7 — In his opening statement Vahram Nesrisyants, the Board Chairman and CEO of the PanArmenian Bank, said that the PanArmenian Bank is a development bank and is established as an open stock company. The purpose of the bank is to attract long-term financing from international financial organizations and other private sources that focus on the development in order to provide long-term development financing to the competitive manufacturing enterprises registered and operating in the Republic of Armenia. Thereby, the PanArmenian Bank will contribute to the additional economic growth in the Republic of Armenia and will stimulate export of goods and services.
It was noted that the bank won’t compete with commercial banks because it will not take deposits or provide commercial credits. Apart from its direct crediting, the PanArmenian Bank can cooperate with commercial banks offering the enterprises financing packets, by which the bank will provide long-term financial resources, while the commercial banks together with the PanArmenian Bank will provide shorter-term working capital and commercial financing.
The activities of the PanArmenian Bank will be regulated by the Central Bank in compliance with the legislation of the Republic of Armenia.
By Eva Sahakyan
YEREVAN, April 29 — Macroeconomic indicators in Armenia will have notable improvements in the nearest months, the Armenian President Serge Sarkisian announced on Thursday during his meeting with the heads of Armenian banks, the press service of the Armenian President reports.
Sarkisian spoke about macroeconomic indicators and inflation control. He mentioned that they will be able to achieve notable results due to integrated activities of the financial sector and the implementation of other mechanisms.
“I have not changed my opinion and I think that our banks can greatly contribute to the economic policy by implementing their credit policies, by giving loans to small, medium and large-scale enterprises. I think that the profit is mutual, even trilateral — banking system, private sector and government,” Sarkisian said.
He also mentioned that the day before he had the chance to get acquainted with the indicators of the banking system. “The indicators of the first quarter are very inspiring, and it is necessary to continue the development,” he said.
Sarkisian also added that the Government will always search for new impulses for the development of the banking system.
YEREVAN, September 24 — Serge Sarkisian, the President of the Republic of Armenia, highly appreciated ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank’s participation and investment in Armenia’s banking system.
At the meeting with Jean-Marie Sander, the Chairman of ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank, the president said that the bank greatly participates in Armenia’s economic life, particularly in the sphere of agriculture.
“On one hand you have made a very good investment, and on the other hand you have implemented a completely new culture on our financial market, which is extremely important for us,” the president said.
Sander noted that the bank contributes to Armenia’s economic development with great love and responsibility. He noted the bank gives priority to the agricultural sphere as well as to the development of the agricultural regions. The bank is planning to contribute to Armenia’s development in the future.
According to Sander, the bank also makes its contribution in the strengthening of Armenian-French relations. As an example, the chairman mentioned last year’s festivity devoted to Armenian music preservationist Komitas’s 140 anniversary, which was organized in France through the bank’s assistance.
ACBA-Credit Agricole has 37 branches throughout the Republic of Armenia.
YEREVAN (Novosti-Armenia), June 21 — “The Government of Armenia is going to reconsider the terms of the Available Housing for Young Families mortgage program,” said Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian at the National Youth Policy Board meeting on Saturday.
On January 29, the Armenian government maintained the program concerning Available Housing for Young Families in the amount of 3 billion dram. According to the program, the total credit amount is 16 million dram (approximately $43,000). The government program is being implemented through a specially made universal credit organization called “Housing for Young Families.”
“When the program was still being developed, various opinions were being voiced. Some people thought that funds allocated by the program would be quickly spent, so there would arise a necessity for additional funding. I didn’t share that opinion since we had drawn up rather strict rules concerning credit granting,” said the prime minister.
The credit is being offered at an interest rate of 10.5 percent, of which 2 percent is being subsidized by the Armenian government. The families that wish to obtain credit are being introduced to certain terms. The monthly income of a young married couple should not be less than 300,000-350,000 dram ($800-$940). That amount of money may include not only the monthly income of the couple, but also financial support from relatives.
Sarkisian noted that at the first stage of the program’s implementation those terms were very sufficient.
“Nevertheless, the preliminary results show that the process of execution of the program is rather slow, so we will reconsider the credit conditions, interest rates and credit terms to raise the level of the program’s availability,” he said.
He also mentioned that the banks have a very conservative approach towards the issue of crediting. According to him, the government is ready to increase the financing of the program as well as to attract international organizations for the program’s successful implementation.
The prime minister said that special attention will also be paid to the softening of the crediting terms for families in the regions of Armenia.
Translated from Russian by Yerevan Report
YEREVAN (ARKA), June 8 — International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, will allocate a senior loan of $3 million to an Armenian leasing company, ACBA Leasing, to expand the financing availability for local small and medium-sized enterprises.
With IFC’s financial support ACBA Leasing will finance both the leasing of transportation vehicles and the manufacturing and agricultural equipment of small and medium-sized enterprises through ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank’s branch network.
IFC’s timely support will help to diversify ACBA Leasing’s funding base and to extend the institutional capacity to meet their customer’s needs,” said Stepan Gishyan, the General Manager of ACBA Leasing.
According to him, it will also help to continue the financing policy of local companies, aimed at obtaining new equipment that will contribute to Armenia’s economic recovery after the global financial crisis.
The IFC Regional Head Thomas Lubeck mentioned that leasing is an excellent financial product for small and medium-sized enterprises, and since 2002 the IFC has been assisting the development of leasing in Armenia.
“We are happy to develop our investment relationships with such a strong company as ACBA Leasing.”
ACBA Leasing was established in 2003 and is the first leasing company in Armenia.
Translated from Russian by Yerevan Report
YEREVAN (ARKA), March 31–Ameriabank and Cascade Bank will merge before the end of this year, Artak Hanesyan, director general of Ameriabank and chairman of the bank’s directorial board, said at a news conference on Wednesday.
“Our banks’ shareholders sealed the merger deal today. Such a merger of two banks on market conditions is unprecedented in Armenia. This is a new phenomenon uniting our services, widening the range of our services and improving these services. Our clients will benefit from this deal.”
The aim of this merger is to support Armenia’s financial sector and create a firm financial platform for post-crisis development.
Hanesyan said that the two banks’ consolidated capital of will reach $75 million, aggregate assets will total about $400 million, liabilities $262 million and joint credit portfolio $180 million after the merger.
“The merged bank will be among three leaders on these indicators,” he said adding that the calculations have been based on the figures of late 2009, and indicators of joint development in 2010 haven’t been taken into account.
Answering the question asked by ARKA News Agency, Hanesyan said that joint discussions have resulted in a decision for the institution to function under the name “Ameriabank.”
The banker said that the merger is not completed and the shares of the parties are not decided so far.
Under the agreement, he said, two stages have to be implemented before the final merger.
“At the first stage, a merger program will be worked out by joint efforts and all agreements with third parties, including the Central Bank and international organizations cooperating with banks, will be sealed,” Hanesyan said adding that after that the second stage would be launched.
He said that the bank’s strategy may be changed, though the two banks’ strategies and in tune with each other – that is why he find changes unlikely.
“Changes, if any, can be positive and related to growth, development and enlargement of joint activity.”
Aharon Levonyan, executive director of Cascade Bank, who spoke at the same news conference, said that the merger would strengthen competitiveness.
“The merger is aimed at creation of a stronger financial organization, which will become a serious competitor and one of three leaders among Armenian banks,” he said.
Ameriabank is a corporate bank with integrated investment-banking and a limited number of retail banking services. The bank board of directors is headed by Ruben Vardanian. Its CEO is Artak Hanesian. Ameriabank’s strategic partner is one of the biggest Russian investment conglomerates, Troika Dialog.
Cascade Bank was established in 2005 after Cascade Capital Holdings purchased 100 percent shares of Emporiki Bank. It cooperates now with EBRD in a micro-financing project. Millennium Challenges Armenia Fund has chosen this bank to handle its account as part of a five-year program of assistance to Armenia by the US government.
YEREVAN (ARKA), February 10—Karapet Gevorkian, a representative of German KfW Bank in Armenia, said today Armenia will join the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE).
He said Armenia’s membership with EFSE was discussed by Armenian Central bank governor Arthur Javadian during a December 2009 visit to Germany, when the shareholders of the European Fund for Southeast Europe approved an expansion of the fund’s target region to include four new countries of the European Eastern Neighborhood region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Belarus.
According to Karapet Gevorkian, this has paved the way for the EFSE to provide financing for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) and home improvement in these countries, in addition to Ukraine and Moldova, two other European Eastern Neighbourhood countries.
The expansion will enhance the level of financial intermediation in the new target countries and will bring much-needed financing, especially to MSEs in rural areas and to the private small-scale agriculture sector.
He said over the next five years, the EFSE is expected to provide financing to banks and microfinance institutions in a total amount of 300 million euros in the new target countries in addition to up to 1 billion euros envisaged for the region of Southeast Europe. In doing so, the fund will provide financing for approximately 70,000 loans to MSEs in the new target countries.
With an investment portfolio of 700 million euros, EFSE is the largest microfinance investment funds worldwide. Aimed at fostering economic development and prosperity in Southeast Europe, the Fund offers long-term funding instruments to local financial institutions for on-lending to micro and small enterprises as well as to low-income private households.
The Fund is a public-private partnership. Its capital base is jointly constituted by donors, development finance institutions and private institutional investors. KfW is the Initiator and Promoter of the Fund. The Fund Manager is Oppenheim Asset Management Services. Frankfurt School of Finance & Management acts as Advisor and supports the fund management. EFSE operates in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Moldova, FYR Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, and Ukraine.