June 25, 2012 | 19:45

YEREVAN.- The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) and
Armenia-based Ardshininvestbank signed a loan agreement on Sunday
aiming at provision of additional resources for mortgage lending
in Armenia.

Ardshininvestbank will draw on funds amounting to $8 million during the
next six months and extend affordable long-term residential mortgage
loans, including jumbo loans with a maximum amount of $200,000.

Mher Grigoryan, Chairman of the Management Board at Ardshininvestbank,
said real estate construction, which once strongly supported the
economic growth in Armenia, suffered greatly through the recent crisis.

"In this regard, it is also the responsibility of the banking sector to
stimulate the real estate and mortgage lending markets. This facility
with the BSTDB will allow Ardshininvestbank to assertively expand
its mortgage loan", he added.

According to him, while the speculative demand for residential real
estate has significantly subsided, the fundamentals show strong demand
still exists, as the real estate market remains obsolete and densely
populated, with often 2 families living in small apartments.

"Short-term and high interest rate mortgage loans are the main
obstacles to expansion of the scope and scale of such lending. With
this project, we are going to improve the situation, solving some
of the existing issues, particularly by making mortgage loans more
affordable and accessible in Armenia," said Grigoryan.

Ardshininvestbank is a bank with 49 branches throughout the Republic
of Armenia, six branches in the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh and a
representation office in Paris. For further information please visit or call 59-04-04.

The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) is an international
financial institution established by Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan,
Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and
Ukraine. BSTDB supports economic development and regional cooperation
by providing loans, credit lines, equity and guarantees for projects
and trade financing in the public and private sectors in its member

From: A. Papazian