Black Sea Development Bank Delegation visits Armenia

YEREVAN (News.am)–A delegation of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB), led by its chairman Andrei Kondakov, arrived in Armenia on Monday and met with high ranking officials, Armenian news agencies reported.

According to ARKA news agency, the delegation meet with Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian, Finance Minister Tigran Davtyan, Central Bank Chairman Arthur Javadian and top executives of Armenia’s leading banking institutions.

Meeting with President Sarkisian, Kondakov praised Armenia’s ‘active participation’ in the bank as one of its shareholders, and spoke of an upcoming increase in BSTDB capital that will enable the bank to expand activities in member countries that will foster economic development.

Sarkisian, for his part, assured Kondakov of Armenia’s willingness and ability to cooperate with the Bank.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Kondakov stressed the positive financial the bank has brought to Armenia and told journalists that the BSTDB is currently implementing ten projects in Armenia, worth a total of  $70 million.

The BSTDB was founded 11 years ago by 11 stockholder-countries, Armenia being one of them. The bank has funded more than 220 projects worth a total of $3 billion. BSTDB assets currently total $1.5 billion, and the bank has 106 loan portfolios.

According to Kondakov, Armenia’s share in the bank’s capital is 1%, with a 5% share in its active loan portfolio. “Each U.S. dollar in the bank’s capital returns U.S. 14 to Armenia. Quite a good figure for Armenia, but we plan to increase this figure,” Kondakov said.

“Small shareholders must receive more funds than major ones,” Kondakov said. “This is what development banks are intended for.”

At the height of the the global financial crisis two years ago, BSTDB member-states chose to increase the bank’s capital, as a result, the bank was able to weather the financial collapse unscathed, according to Kondakov.

He stressed the bank is operating in the black and plans a 70% increase in its loan portfolio within the next four years. “Under that decision, the bank’s subscribed capital is to be doubled, and authorized capital even tripled,’ Kondakov said. “This year the member-states have begun paying their shares. The process will last for eight years, and Armenia was the first to contribute to the bank’s capital.”

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