EBRD And Azerbaijan’s Central Bank Promote Manat Lending To Coronavirus-hit Firms


By Olga Rosca

Azerbaijani companies can now benefit from loans denominated in the local currency manat (AZN) provided by the EBRD thanks to an agreement with the Central Bank of the Azerbaijan Republic.

The EBRD has secured reliable access to AZN liquidity, in the form of swap transactions worth a total of US$200 million, and will continue local currency lending to companies.

Of the US$200 million, US$50 million will be channelled to local firms, including smaller viable enterprises experiencing temporary difficulties, already this year.

The agreement is part of the EBRD’s stepping up support for Azerbaijani companies as the country’s economy faces the double challenge of the coronavirus outbreak and the global oil market shock. 

The EBRD has made available a Solidarity Package to help companies in its regions, with 38 emerging markets, deal with the economic impact of the pandemic. The EBRD stands ready to provide support worth €21 billion(US$22.97billion) over the 2020-21 period.

The package includes short-term liquidity, working capital and restructuring of exposure for existing clients, as well as trade finance and an emergency support programme for key infrastructure providers. The Bank will also ramp up its local currency, capital markets and equity offers.

The EBRD is an important institutional investor in Azerbaijan. To date, the Bank has invested €3.3 billion through over 170 projects in the country. It also provides business advice to local small and medium-sized enterprises and has helped more than 1,000 firms to improve their performance and growth.

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