The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is organising a tailor-made course for consultants entitled “Capital markets instruments for SME finance” which will be held on 6–8 December 2017 in Yerevan.
The aim of the course is to provide training to the financial consultants in Armenia with relevant skills and know-how on how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can access debt and equity financing instruments in the capital markets, that will allow them to diversify their source funding and attract new investments.
The main topics during the training will be: introduction to capital markets; types of financial instruments available for SMEs; company valuation; debt and equity financing options; capital markets risks; key financial indicators and applications for SME growth and increasing their “investment readiness”.
The course has been designed and organised under the framework of the EBRD’s SME Local Currency Programme and funded by the Government of Japan.
The Government of Japan, through its donor cooperation funding with the EBRD, supports the development of local capital markets through regulatory reforms, capacity-building programmes, development of capital markets products and educating on innovative market instruments, as well as developing the local and international institutional investor base.
In Armenia, SMEs lack access to diverse financing tools for expansion and, particularly, for attracting equity financing. In this context, the Armenian SME Finance & Advice Facility (FAF) was established through an EU-EBRD collaboration to increase SMEs access to advice, to boost their investment readiness and to diversify the financing solution currently existing in Armenia through the establishment of a private equity fund.
Mr. Hannes Takacs, Associate Director of the EBRD Local Currency and Capital Markets Development programme, said “Many Armenian companies are unaware of the capital market funding options or of the challenges that they may face when attempting to access equity finance. This course is designed to equip the SME advisers with the knowledge and tools that they need to successfully advise Armenian companies, especially SMEs, on how to access equity and debt capital market financing.”
Mr. Yukihiko Ejiri, Resident Representative of JICA Georgia Office, , highlighted that “The country assistance policy of Japan consists of two priority areas and one of the priorities is the improvement of institutions and infrastructure for economic growth and regional development, namely the promotion of development of SMEs. JICA successfully implemented the “Project for Development of Local Production and Promotion of Local Brands” from 2013-2016 and has been implementing phase 2 from 2016-2019. We hope that our cooperation continues to support Armenian SMEs effectively and that we fruitfully continue our collaboration with EBRD as one of the leading donors in the field of supporting SMEs”.
Hoa-Binh Adjemian, Head of Cooperation Section, Delegation of the European Union to Armenia, said “EU support to SMEs is at the core of EU development cooperation with Armenia. In the last 3 years, more than 250 SMEs have received advisory services in Armenia leading to 30% average increase of their business activity, more than 30 start-ups have received seed funding, 100 SMEs have benefited from cheaper access to finance, 40 MEUR will be invested through a newly created equity finance in Armenia, and thanks to GSP+ trade scheme 6000 Armenian products can be imported in EU without customs duties. These EU4Business initiatives contribute to increase the competitiveness of SMEs and shared growth in Armenia”.
Petko Bahovski, lead international expert, consultant, professional trainer and founder of Bahovski Finance, who will be leading the training course, highlighted that “this course is very timely: given the current state of the global financial markets where investors are looking for more creative ways to diversify their portfolios, investing in Armenia is more attractive than ever before. Course participants will not only be equipped with the tools and skills to help Armenian capital markets and SMEs to grow and develop, but will also get hands-on experience of what the different types of regional and international investors are considering and looking for when investing in Armenian businesses and in particular local SMEs”.
Since the start of its operations in Armenia in 1992, the EBRD has invested over €1.12 billion in 161 projects in the country’s financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 89 per cent of these investments being in the private sector.