Creation of Micro-Credit Agencies in the Issyk-Kul Region
The ability to generate positive and self-sustaining socio-economic opportunities and development in the communities and regions where we operate is one of the cornerstones of Centerra’s sustainability program.
Creating Accessibility with Low Annual Interest Rates
Since 2006, Kumtor has supported farming businesses and small enterprises through the establishment of three micro-credit agencies. The program, focused on the Issyk-Kul region, gives residents access to financial resources to start or expand their business. The micro-credit agencies offer among the lowest annual interest rates (10% to 12%) in the Kyrgyz Republic, making financing more accessible to small businesses.
Since 2006, more than US$2.3 million of credit has been issued to local businesses in the Issyk-Kul region. This amounts to 633 loans that have had an average repayment rate of 97.5% across the three agencies. Through the businesses supported through the loans, the agencies have contributed to the creation of over 500 jobs. As of December 31, 2019, the micro-credit agencies have a credit portfolio of more than US$3.2 million.
The Djety-Ögüz micro-credit agency has been financially independent since 2015 and has been able to employ 11 employees on its permanent staff. Today, the three micro-credit agencies have a total of 26 employees.