DUSHANBE, November 28, Asia-Plus - Belgian Incofin intends to sign a loan agreement with Tajikistan’s Eskhata Bank on providing US$ 1million to it.   

Masrur Eshonov, an economist with the Bank Eskhata sector for documentary operations, told Asia-Plus that negotiations on signing of the agreement are nearing completion.  “By the end of this year, Incofin is expected to have provided US$1 million to our bank for two years,” Eshonov said, noting that the credit will be used for funding small and medium-sized businesses in Tajikistan.  

According to him, experts from Incofin studied financial indicators of Bank Eskhata in October this year and the credit is being provided on the basis of this analysis.  

Besides, Bank Eskhata is also expanding cooperation with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the ADB is ready to provide a loan of US$1 million to bank for a five-year year Ito finance development of small and medium-sized businesses in the republic, according to Eshonov.

Established in November 1993, a privately owned Eskhata Bank, with headquarters in Khujand, has eight branches in various regions of the country.  The bank got operating license in 1994.  In December 2005, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) took equity in Eskhata Bank that allowed Eskhata to continue to comply with the National Bank of Tajikistan’s minimum capital requirements, which have been revised upwards to $5 million.   As of October 1 2006, a regulative capital of Eskhata Bank has amounted to 19.7 million somonis (equivalent to more than US$5 million). 

Incofin is an initiative of entrepreneurs. It was established in 1992 as a Belgian cooperative association with a social purpose (CASP).  Incofin supports small, local entrepreneurs in developing countries, because entrepreneurship is a lever for “self-development”.  Incofin’s investment policy concentrates on investments in MFIs whose services are targeted at micro-entrepreneurs.