FMO has signed a USD 50 million NASIRA portfolio guarantee with Ameriabank, a leading financial institution in Armenia. This partnership is aimed at providing vital support to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Armenia, with a particular focus on empowering young and female entrepreneurs.
The official signing of the agreement took place in the frames of the Future of Finance 2023 conference in Amsterdam, marking a new milestone in the FMO and Ameriabank partnership. This largest NASIRA facility by FMO in Armenia also includes a technical assistance component, designed to enhance Ameriabank's internal risk management system and improve the services offered to the target groups.
The NASIRA risk-sharing program is dedicated to strengthening financial institutions, enabling them to expand their funding support for SMEs, especially those within underserved business segments such as women-owned enterprises and young entrepreneurs, in general. These groups often encounter difficulties in accessing traditional banking services due to perceived high risks. NASIRA plays a pivotal role in bridging the financing gap for these segments by sharing potential credit losses with partnering financial institutions, thus reducing the overall risk involved.
Huib-Jan de Ruijter, Co-CIO at FMO said: “We are delighted to be able to support Ameriabank in its strategic goal to grow its MSME customer base. Despite the significant presence of MSMEs in the country, their contribution is only about 25% of the country's GDP and around 19% of employment, as the sector has limited access to credit. With the Nasira-facility FMO will be directly sharing the risk of the loan portfolio of MSMEs with Ameriabank, thereby contributing to access to finance for these underserved entrepreneurs. We are thankful to Ameriabank for its willingness to participate in this new and innovative risk sharing program that is backed by the European Commission and the Dutch state.”
“We're delighted to announce our continued partnership with FMO and the launch of the NASIRA program at Ameriabank. This collaboration underscores our joint commitment to fostering sustainable growth in Armenia. This risk-sharing facility reflects our belief in innovative financing to uplift local businesses. We aim to provide financial support and essential tools for local businesses to thrive. The NASIRA program, along with technical assistance, will drive positive change, support underserved segments, and empower SMEs in Armenia. Together with FMO, we're paving the way for a brighter, more resilient future," Artak Hanesyan, CEO of Ameriabank, commented.
Launched in August 2020, NASIRA is a collaborative effort supported by the European Commission and the Dutch government. To date, it has facilitated 17 transactions with financial institutions across Central Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, amounting to a total of USD 371 million.
Ameriabank's long-standing partnership with FMO dates back to 2009 when FMO initially extended a loan to the Bank to facilitate investments in Armenian SMEs and renewable energy projects. Over the years, this collaboration has grown significantly, with a cumulative portfolio exceeding USD 200 million. This substantial investment has been channeled into supporting a diverse range of small and renewable energy projects, contributing significantly to Armenia's green economy.
Ameriabank is a leading financial institution and a major contributor to the Armenian economy. Being a dynamically developing universal bank, Ameriabank provides a large package of innovative banking services through its omni-channel distribution platform and with clear focus on digital products and ecosystems. Ameriabank has adopted a customer-focused approach to ensure service quality and modern banking experience in an evolving digital environment.
Ameriabank is committed to doing business responsibly and advancing Armenia’s transition towards a sustainable future.