TBLISI, GEORGIA (17 April) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing a 60 million Georgian lari ($22.3 million) loan and a $500,000 technical assistance grant to Credo Bank (Credo) to launch new products including home improvement and mortgage loans to lower income households in rural areas and on the outskirts of Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi. The loan is provided in Georgian lari supporting Georgia’s strategy to increase the use of local currency and reduce foreign currency-induced credit risks of the beneficiaries and banks.

“This is ADB’s second project with Credo and it allows the bank to expand its services to small business and rural household customers, most of whom are women,” said ADB Lead Investment Specialist for Private Sector Operations Mr. Rainer Hartel. “We are proud to work with Credo Bank to reach underserved regions, boosting economic activity and affordable housing to enhance Georgia’s sustainable and inclusive growth.”

Credo’s long-term loans will particularly benefit women-headed households, who represent the majority of the bank’s clients, not only by improving living conditions but also by broadening rural income generation through the construction of homestays. The technical assistance aims to improve Credo’s outreach to 1,300 remote village communities through fintech solutions covering payment, savings, and loan services, as well as financial literacy and entrepreneurship training through Credo’s academy services.

Around 43% of Georgians live in rural areas and 27% in regional towns, with a vast number working in small enterprises or in subsistence farming. The assistance will support the wellbeing of the rural population and help address poverty in the regions.

Since 2007, ADB has provided nonsovereign loans totaling $255 million to banks in Georgia.

Credo is a leading financial service provider for households as well as micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in Georgia, serving about 230,000 MSE borrowers, 50% of whom are female, with an average loan size of 2,300 Georgian lari.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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