HERE AND BEYOND
IFC’s $15 Million Loan to Ameriabank Supports Renewable Energy Projects in Armenia
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IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced it is helping Ameriabank finance small-scale renewable-energy projects in Armenia to boost the supply of renewable energy and help lower greenhouse-gas emissions.
 
IFC will provide a $15 million senior loan to Ameriabank, enabling the bank to provide long-term financing to build small hydropower plants.  Projects supported by the loan are expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 30,000 tons a year. The financing also will help increase Armenia’s domestic electricity production, diversify the electricity supply, and decrease the country’s reliance on fuel imports.
 
“Energy-sector development is one of the key priorities of Ameriabank as it creates new and sustainable investment opportunities in Armenia,” said Artak Hanesyan, General Director and Chairman of the Management Board of Ameriabank.  “As one of the most innovative and client-oriented financial institutions in Armenia, we are especially delighted to be one of the first banks in the country to extend loans at such exceptional terms to renewable-energy producers.”
 
Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Head, Caucasus, said, “IFC’s extensive experience shows that investing in environmentally sustainable projects can be profitable for investors, banks, and private sector companies.  We are happy to be expanding our partnership with Ameriabank to increase Armenia’s renewable-energy capacity.”
 
In spite of the recent financial turmoil, Ameriabank has embarked on a strategy of growth and is already among the top five banks in Armenia by several financial indicators. It considers renewable energy a priority for its lending growth. The bank’s corporate portfolio is about $100 million.
 
IFC also will provide advisory services to help Ameriabank assess and review projects, with a focus on environmental and financial aspects. Earlier this year, IFC provided the bank a $5 million trade-finance guarantee, allowing it to expand financing for the foreign trade transactions of its clients throughout the country.
 
IFC has been investing in Armenia since 2000 to support financial institutions, small retailers, and the hotel industry, among others. It also has implemented advisory projects to improve the country’s business environment and strengthen the financial sector.  Addressing climate change is a strategic priority for IFC and the World Bank Group. Globally, in fiscal year 2009, IFC invested over $1 billion in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other climate-friendly investments.
 
IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including by increasing financing for renewable energy or energy efficient projects.
 
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About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
 
About Ameriabank
Ameriabank is one of the most dynamic banks in Armenia and ranks among the country’s most stable financial institutions. It is the first investment bank in Armenia, and since 2007 has been providing an extensive list of innovative banking products. It focuses mainly on corporate and investment banking. Ameriabank is owned by TDA Holdings Limited, an investment company affiliated with Troika Dialog, a leading Russian investment banking group. For more information, visit www2.ameriabank.am.
Updated 22.12.2009, 13:29
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