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Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago

[19.03.23] Presentation of EBRD Micro-finance Program Held in Bishkek

National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic initiated a presentation of EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) micro-finance program in Bishkek on March 18, 2003.
- We have been operating here for almost a year, - noted Margo Sheck, head of program consultants, representing a German company IPC, and already provide the whole spectrum of micro-finance loans from 50 dollars to 50 thousand dollars. The average size of the loan is 2 thousand dollars.
According to her, the current portfolio of 500 issued loans is about 1 mln dollars with the annual interest rate of 18-28 % in foreign currency and 25-36% in soms. The size of the loan is determined individually depending on the type of business, mortgage and loan objective. M. Sheck didnt directly answer the question whether the interest rate is likely to go up or not due to Iraq crisis, mention, however, that cardinal changes in the economy might affect it(the interest rate).
Mortgage mechanism is what sets EBRD micro-finance program apart from other credit institutions.
- We issue loans against the security of whatever the client has to offer: third person guarantee, a car, a house, says Sheck.
EBRD has launched a micro-finance program for small and medium size businesses in cooperation with the two Kyrgyz banks Kyrgyzstan and Ineskim last July. Later on, Demirbank and Kazkomerts-Kyrgyzstan joined in the initiative
According to EBRD senior representative in Kyrgyzstan, its a very ambitious project. EBRD is able to reach out to the commercial banks directly without any external interference. The total amount, provided by the government of Switzerland, USA, USAID and International Financial Corporation, available through the program is 17,5 mln euro. It will have a positive impact on the economy and help reduce poverty level in the country. The program is not limited to Bishkek. Works are underway to introduce it in Osh, Jalal-Abad and other cities throughout the Republic.
Similar projects have long since been successfully operating in Russian and Kazakhstan.  

Moya Stolitsa, March 19, 2003

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