Tbilisi / Essen: MFO Crystal and BANK IM BISTUM ESSEN eG (BIB) have strengthened their partnership through a new USD 6 million loan agreement. New loan facility will increase Crystal’s capacity to provide innovative financial services to micro, small and medium-size enterprises, and low-income clients in Georgia’s regions.
Since 2014, BIB has been actively engaged in Crystal’s sustainable development. In 2019, it demonstrated its’ solid and impactful partnership through sub-debt injection, strengthening Crystal’s capital position. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic through 2020 and 2021, BIB showed support to Crystal, confirming 2 transactions of USD 6 million in total. The current facility is important for clients to cope with post-crisis obstacles and will allow Crystal to contribute to the recovery process from Covid-19 negative effects. It aims to encourage small business growth and income generation.
Ilia Revia, Chief Executive Officer of Crystal, said: “Crystal’s and BIB partnership spans for almost 8 years. We are delighted to demonstrate a strong commitment towards promoting entrepreneurship and sustainable development of our clients through this new facility. The loan will be directed to tackle negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support SMEs and micro enterprises.”
Michael P. Sommer, Director of Foreign Clients at BANK IM BISTUM ESSEN eG, said: “this transaction matters to us because we want to ensure that Crystal can support its clients while they are recovering from the pandemic. We are furthermore happy to extend our partnership with Crystal since it is committed to supporting small entrepreneurs and is always one step ahead in realizing financial inclusion.”
JSC MFO Crystal (‘Crystal’) is the leading financial inclusion organization and the largest by assets non-banking financial institution in Georgia. It manages the loan portfolio of GEL 363 million, employing more than 1,000 members of staff, operating through 49 branches, and serving more than 120,000 unique customers across Georgia. Crystal acts as a platform for economic development providing micro and small entrepreneurs and farmers with innovative financial products and services. Crystal is the first Fitch-rated non-banking financial institution in the region. In December 2018, Crystal received nation’s responsible business award “Meliora “.
About BANK IM BISTUM ESSEN eG:
BANK IM BISTUM ESSEN eG (BIB) is a socially and ethically oriented cooperative bank with Christian roots. Founded in 1966, it is a service provider for the church, health care and social organizations, foundations, relief organizations, and retail clients. Since 2007, BIB partners with development finance organizations worldwide, especially in the field of microfinance. BIB manages two funds, KCD Mikrofinanzfonds (FIS) and BIB Sustainable Finance (SICAV), which allow professional and retail investors to invest in microfinance and SME-finance.