(MENAFN - Trend News Agency) Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 22
By Sara Israfilbayova - Trend:
The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) is interested in issuing bonds in the national currency of Azerbaijan, the manat, President of BSTDB Dmitry Pankin said in an exclusive interview with Trend.
Pankin noted that the bank already has a similar experience, for example, in neighboring Georgia, which allows commercial banks to lend to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
He stressed the need to develop lending in local currency in Azerbaijan. In his opinion, the main problems of the Azerbaijani banks are related to the fact that their obligations were in US dollars and euros, and the loans issued were in local currency.
"As a result, after the devaluation [in February and December 2015], banks started to have problems," he said. "If the structure of assets and liabilities was in one currency, there wouldn't be such problems."
Other international financial organizations are also showing interest in issuing bonds in manats. For example, the EBRD has repeatedly stated about such plans, and this year it issued the first loan in manats.
Interest in the issue of manat bonds was recently shown by the Asian Development Bank as well. In an interview with Trend, Vice President of Bank Wencai Zhang had noted that the first round of talks on this issue was held in September this year.
Lending and development of SMEs in Azerbaijan is one of the priorities of the government. One of the strategic roadmaps adopted in December 2016 was also related to the development of entrepreneurship at the level of SMEs.
Its implementation will increase Azerbaijan's GDP by about 1.26 billion manats by 2020. Also, the SME Development Agency was created in the country, and special houses operating on the principle of a "single window" will operate under this agency.
The BSTDB was established by Azerbaijan, Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Armenia, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine and Russia. The bank's authorized capital is 3.45 billion euros.
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