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Converse Bank wins the “Deal of the Year – Social Impact” award from the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme


 Օn May 10, 2016 Converse Bank was presented with the “Deal of the Year – Social Impact” award by the Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for supporting the complete technical renovation of Izmirlyan Medical Center with GE Healthcare new generation, intelligent medical equipment.

The award was received by Converse Bank Executive Director, Tigran Davtyan and International Relations and Trade Finance Head, Innesa Amirbekyan at the EBRD’s Annual Meeting and Business Forum in London. For the first time in the history of the TFP awards it was given in the “Social Impact” category and recognizes a transaction outstanding not only by its unique financial structure but also exceptional by its social importance in the development of country’s healthcare sector.

Converse Bank supported the project by issuing a US$3.7 million letter of credit for the first Armenian import of innovative medical equipment from General Electric Medical Systems, a leading provider of transformational medical technologies and solutions to the global healthcare industry worldwide. The letter of credit was confirmed by Belgian KBC Bank and supported by the EBRD 100% guarantee covering possible commercial payment and political risks.
“It is a double achievement for us. First of all, we are extremely proud to be the Bank that helped to realize a project of such social significance, which ushered in a completely new era of patients’ care in Armenia with high-quality professional diagnostics and medical treatment solutions. And second, being long-term partner with EBRD we are honored and pleased to receive this significant award, especially considering that it is granted in the category of “Social Impact” for the first time” - said Tigran Davtyan.

GE Healthcare state-of-the-art medical equipment has the largest demand in the world as it allows precise and efficient diagnostics and reduces the risk of irradiation for people who are often forced to undergo screening. Thanks to the new equipment, Izmirlyan Medical Center is now able to diagnose even the most challenging diseases, as well as ensure high-quality treatment and safe performance of innovative surgeries. Since the successful installation of the equipment in summer 2015, the patients’ flow treated at Izmirlyan Medical Center has increased by 12-15% by the end of year 2015; in 2016 it is expected to increase by 20-25%. In fact, it was not a one-time transaction; alongside with supply of equipment GE Medical Systems will be providing training and warranty services over the next five years.

“The confirmed letter of credit itself was a part of a complex intermediary transaction with several parties. In order to facilitate the deal and to minimize Converse Bank’s clients’ expenses and potential risks, we structured the transaction in a different and unique way, beneficial for all the parties involved. We really appreciate the support of KBC Bank and the EBRD who provided continuous assistance, allowing Converse Bank to ensure the best possible solution for this complex multiple-party transaction”, said Innesa Amirbekyan.

This exceptional deal served solid basis for further development of trade finance cooperation with KBC Bank being one of the most active confirming banks in the frames of EBRD’s TFP. In its turn, the EBRD supported this deal as it was in line with its policy of promoting the improvement of services provided by private medical institutions. Cooperation of Converse Bank and EBRD in the frames of TFP goes back to 2009 and has recorded steady development and expansion all through the years passing.

Mark Davis, Head of EBRD operations in Armenia, said: “Converse Bank has been a long-standing partner for us in the country. It is our pleasure to honour its commitment and dedication to promoting trade in Armenia and the region. The work of Converse Bank helps Armenia pioneer regional integration, as facilitation of cross-border trade lays ground for more cohesive inter-regional cooperation and boosts economic growth in the country.”

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