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IFC, Partner Help Smaller Businesses in Azerbaijan Gain Easier Access to Finance

Baku, Azerbaijan, January 28, 2015— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Azerbaijan’s National Confederation of Entrepreneurs are joining forces to improve access to finance for small businesses, enabling expansion and boosting job creation and shared prosperity.
The IFC Azerbaijan-Central Asia Financial Markets Infrastructure Project, funded by Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), and Azerbaijan’s National Confederation of Entrepreneurs  hosted a conference in Baku today to promote movable asset-based lending. It allows businesses to use movable assets, like vehicles, machinery, crops, inventory, and receivables, as collateral for loans from financial institutions.
Most lending in Azerbaijan is warranted against the security of immovable assets, such as land and property. This is a significant impediment for smaller businesses as most have no real estate to offer as collateral.
“Movable assets, which are not widely used for collateral purposes in Azerbaijan, generally have good liquidity and can increase access to finance even when financial information is weak,” said Mammad Musayev, President of the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers) Organizations of the Azerbaijan Republic. “This conference will provide a platform to discuss how international practices in movable asset-based lending can be applied in Azerbaijan.”
The conference brought together representatives of Azerbaijan’s Central Bank and leading financial institutions.
“Leveraging the value of movable assets owned by many small businesses could be a game-changer for businesses as well as lending institutions,” said Aliya Azimova, IFC Country Representative in Azerbaijan. “This can open up new financing possibilities for a large share of small companies and create new opportunities for lenders to expand their client base. This conference is part of our joint efforts to increase access to finance in Azerbaijan.”
The World Bank Group’s leading experts in the region are also holding a two-day workshop this week to help financial institutions develop and implement movable assets financial products that address the needs of Azerbaijan’s financial sector.
Azerbaijan became a member of IFC in 1995. Since then, IFC has invested more than $414 million in the country and mobilized $73 million from other lenders. IFC has also implemented a number of advisory projects focused on private sector development.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit .
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