The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in the United Kingdom, recently announced that it will provide a local-currency credit line equivalent to approximately USD 60 million for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Kazakhstan. USD 10 million of the loan, also provided in the local currency, tenge, will be earmarked for MSMEs headed by female entrepreneurs. The funds will be on-lent to end-borrowers by ForteBank, a commercial bank based in Astana. The loans will be guaranteed by the Kazakh Entrepreneurship Development Fund, an agency of Kazakhstan’s government that aims to support entrepreneurship in the country.
Janet Heckman, EBRD’s Head of Operations in Kazakhstan, said that “building resilient and inclusive economies is a key priority for the EBRD. Access to longer-term tenge financing is crucial for many local MSMEs.” Guram Andronikashvili, Deputy Chairman of Forte Bank, added that “supporting SMEs in Kazakhstan is one of the strategic priorities for ForteBank. This credit line will allow us to offer more, and more affordable, financing to small businesses. […] Forte Bank will become one of the first to create targeted, beneficial products for women entrepreneurs”.
During 2015, EBRD invested EUR 9.38 billion (USD 10.5 billion) in 381 projects in 36 countries, and as of December of that year it reported total members’ equity of EUR 14.6 billion (USD 16.3 billion). In Kazakhstan, EBRD has funded 216 projects and invested approximately USD 7.5 billion as of 2016. ForteBank reported total assets of KZT 1 trillion (USD 3.2 billion) as of December 31, 2015.
By Alíz Crowley, Research Associate
About the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is a multilateral institution headquartered in London, United Kingdom. The bank, which began operations in 1991 upon the agreement of 40 countries, is owned by 65 countries as well as the European Investment Bank and the European Union as of 2016. It aims to finance operations that are both commercially viable and assist development in Central and Western Asia, Eastern Europe and North Africa. It does this by providing loans, debt securities, equity investments, guarantees and technical assistance to micro- and small businesses via commercial banks and non-bank microfinance institutions (MFIs). During 2015, EBRD invested EUR 9.38 billion (USD 10.5 billion) in 381 projects in 36 countries, and as of December of that year it reported total members’ equity of EUR 14.6 billion (USD 16.3 billion).
ForteBank is a commercial bank in Kazakhstan that provides retail, corporate and small business banking services. The bank has a presence in 39 cities and settlements in Kazakhstan. As of 2016, a private individual, Bulat Utemuratov, owns 87.28 percent of the institution’s common shares. The organization reported total assets of KZT 1 trillion (USD 3.2 billion) as of December 31, 2015.
Sources and Additional Information:
 ForteBank: Consolidated financial statements 31 December 2015
 ForteBank: Investor Relations
 MicroCapital Universe Profile: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
 MicroCapital Universe Profile: ForteBank
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