The past 2019 year is remembered for some changes in the Banking sector of Azerbaijan. Some Banks of the country increased their loan and deposit portfolios, and other ones, on the contrary, worsened their financial situation. There were also Banks that carried out restyling (image changes) and rebranding (or renaming).
We spoke with Azer Turk Bank’s spokesman Rauf Agayev about the financial situation in 2019 and plans for the future. We present to your attention the interview with Agayev for website ABC.AZ:
- As you know, last year a range of Banks conducted their restyling. Is such a step necessary for Azer Turk Bank and does the Bank intend to do it?
- State-governed Azer Turk Bank continues its updating from angle of style. Within the relevant work the Bank has launched a new version of its corporate website, designed to meet modern requirements. As part of the project on modernization of the corporate website, its concept, design and structure have been changed fully. The updated concept and structure of the site will allow increasing the functionality in the future and introducing the most modern online solutions.
- Did your Bank give consumer or business loans most of all last year?
- The amount of ATB’s loan portfolio reached AZN 178.4 million in 2019. Over the past year the Bank gave consumer loans in the total amount of AZN 55.5 million, business loans for AZN 61.8 million, and real estate loans for AZN 69.1 million.
- What work does your Bank do to increase business loans?
- Our Bank fulfils important work in this direction. Helping corporate clients meet their financial needs, ATB offers new and more affordable products and services. Recently, the Bank provided a new product of the Factoring credit line to corporate clients on favorable terms. The introduction of a new product of the credit line is aimed at ensuring convenient and rational use of customers' working capital, and supporting the Bank's sustainable business development.
Thus, if the seller wants to get quickly the cost of the product and service during trading operations, and the buyer wants to make payments after a while, the client, who is a legal entity or an individual entrepreneur, can apply to ATB for opening credit line "Factoring".
In this case, the Bank immediately credits up to 90% of the cost of the product or service. I’d like to note that the Bank does not require additional deposits and guarantees for this credit line, and the interest rate is determined individually, by mutual agreement and on the preferential basis. In the near future we’ll introduce new products for our corporate clients.
For example, I want to focus on the product of credit line Acquiring Overdraft. This will be a credit line based on an overdraft in a certain volume of sales carried out through the Bank's acquiring channels (via POS-terminal and e-commerce), with an interest-free discount period and a subsidized interest rate within three working days. The business credit line is intended for individual entrepreneurs. This is a credit line will be opened through the Business Card product with grace period and subsidized annual interest rate of up to 40 days. We’ll offer our product Development Credit for support of small and medium-sized businesses. The amount of this loan, calculated for three years, is up to 100,000 manats, and the repayment of the main debt will be subject to a benefit of up to 12 months. Our credit product for startups will be aimed at supporting newly-created or promising enterprises that meet modern requirements. The loan amount will be up to AZN 50,000, and the total term will be up to 60 months. The discount of up to 36 months will be applied for payment of the principal debt. The products I have listed will soon be placed at the disposal of our corporate clients.
- What are your plans and actions about credit interest cuts?
- I note that our Bank is one of the financial & credit organizations that give loans to our corporate clients on the most favorable terms in the country. We’re going to continue this trend further.
As you know, the term of office of the former World Bank Country Manager for Azerbaijan Naveed Hassan Naqvi has expired. In this regard, an ABC.AZ employee interviewed Nagvi, covering questions about the activities over the past period, as well as about WB’s future plans for Azerbaijan.
The main source of economic growth in Azerbaijan still is the oil and gas sector. Although the government has already focused on diversifying its economy in the recent years, the pandemic in combination with the oil price crash showed how fragile the economy still is.
The audit sector also supports these measures. Supporting the measures taken in the country, the Chamber of Auditors recommended member audit organizations and independent auditors to delay the execution of audit contracts as much as possible and to work remotely as appropriate in order to prevent the risk of coronavirus.
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