The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is investing US$ 40 million in the acquisition of an equity stake in Ameriabank CJSC. This is the largest single-ticket equity deal the EBRD has signed in the region to date.

As a first step the EBRD will acquire a stake of around 20% for US$ 30 million, while the remaining US$ 10 million will be used for future capital increases. The goal of the investment is to strengthen Ameriabank and prepare the bank for a future IPO. In the course of 2016 an independent director representing the EBRD will join Ameriabank’s Board of Directors.

Prior to a possible listing, the EBRD investment will support the growth of Ameriabank by providing additional funds for lending to large corporate and private customers, small and medium-sized enterprises and retail customers. More lending to the real sector will strengthen the growth of Armenia’s economy.

Ameriabank has grown steadily in recent years. With total capital now close to US$ 200 million, the bank’s total assets topped US$ 1 billion at the end of 2015, a record in Armenia’s financial sector. This will open new opportunities for further lending as well as for engaging in possible M&A transactions in the local market.

The decision to become a shareholder in the bank reflects the EBRD’s positive expectations for the development of Ameriabank, and recognises the important contribution that Ameriabank makes to the growth of the Armenian economy, banking sector and society.

Mark Davis, EBRD Head of the Yerevan office, said:

“We welcome the opportunity to become a shareholder in Ameriabank and see this as a further step towards strengthening and consolidating the local banking sector. Increased access to finance is key to enabling local companies to realise their potential. As a shareholder the EBRD will support Ameriabank’s development, with a special emphasis on corporate governance.”

“We highly appreciate this new level of partnership with the EBRD. It is a great support for Ameriabank in global capital markets, in line with our strategic goals and aspirations. I am sure that our joint efforts will promote the development of Armenia’s banking sector and contribute to economic growth in our country,” added Andrew Mkrtchyan, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Ameriabank.