The bank has a strong presence in rural communities and focuses on financing farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises.
A new country in the portfolio
The loan marks the funds’ first investment in Armenia. This landlocked post-Soviet country is in the Caucasus with Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, and Azerbaijan in the east. It has a population of three million. An estimated 37% of the population is employed in agriculture, which shows the importance of this sector for income generation. Agriculture accounts for about 15% of the country’s gross domestic income.
Poor economic growth and corruption laid the seeds for the Velvet Revolution in 2018, a non-violent and peaceful revolution. The newly elected government has made it clear that its top priorities are to combat corruption and alleviate social inequality. Its economic agenda includes the advancement of the agricultural sector to increase efficiency and output and the development of the tourism sector.
Senior Investment Officer Altynai Valikhanova: “ACBA Bank plays an important role in contributing to the socio-economic development of Armenia, especially in the rural areas. Armenian people have a strong spirit of entrepreneurship and our loan will enable ACBA Bank to further unlock people’s potential.”
ACBA Bank employs about 1,500 people and works with a nationwide network of 60 branches with close to 200 ATMs. The bank has a clear focus on sustainability, with environmental and social risks assessment and monitoring embedded across the organisation. Altynai Valikhanova: “The bank is involved in many projects to develop the agricultural sector in Armenia, for example agricultural start-ups, sustainable tourism initiatives and a digital platform that connects local consumers to local farmers who are financed by the bank.”
ACBA Bank is currently developing a digitisation strategy that will further increase its efficiency and outreach.