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EBRD mulls issuing bonds in Azeri currency

Representatives of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Azerbaijani Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FIMSA) have discussed the possibility of issuing manat-denominated bonds, AzerNews has reported.

Speaking about the prospects of issuing manat-denominated bonds with Matteo Patrone, the EBRD’s managing director for Eastern Europe and Caucasus, FIMSA chairman Ibrahim Alishov said that the move would enhance the development of the Azerbaijani security market, adding that the country also launched a state registry of movable property and private credit bureaus with the aim of improving the financial options of small and medium-sized enterprises.

In turn, the EBRD regional director discussed the joint work of the bank and FIMSA, including the EBRD’s recently announced strategy for lending to Azerbaijani SMEs, with agribusinesses being a priority.

Azerbaijan started issuing the local currency denominated bonds following the 2008 financial crisis, with the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) being the first foreign financial institution to follow suit in August  2018.

The BSTDB has so far issued bonds worth 10 million manats (5.88 million US dollars), and plans to issue a further 40 million manats by the end of this year (29.42 million US dollars in total).

The Azeri press reported that the Asian Development Bank had also expressed interest in issuing manat bonds.