News from AccessBank in Azerbaijan

Fitch Affirms AccessBank’s BB+ Rating

Baku, 2 February 2012 - Fitch Ratings has again affirmed its ratings for AccessBank without any changes. AccessBank‟s Long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) was confirmed at 'BB+' with „Outlook Stable‟ – the highest among Azerbaijan‟s financial institutions. The Short-term IDR was affirmed at „B‟, the Viability Rating at „b+‟, and the Support Rating at „3‟. AccessBank has maintained this rating since it was first rated by Fitch in 2008 and the stability of this rating through the financial turmoil of recent years is a testimony to the strength of AccessBank.

The affirmation of AccessBank's „BB+‟ IDR reflects Fitch's view of the probability of support available from its international financial institution shareholders. AcessBank‟s „b+‟ Viability Rating reflects the bank‟s „resilient asset quality, strong performance metrics, solid equity cushion, adequate liquidity, and prudent credit risk management‟.

Dr. Andrew Pospielovsky, the General Manager of AccessBank, welcoming the announcement by Fitch Ratings said: “The repeated reconfirmation by Fitch Ratings of AccessBank‟s BB+ Outlook stable‟ rating – the highest among Azerbaijan‟s Banks, is a testimony to the stability and strength of AccessBank.”

Fitch Ratings is a global rating agency committed to providing the world‟s credit markets with independent and prospective credit opinions, research, and data. With 50 offices worldwide, Fitch Ratings‟ global expertise, built on a foundation of local market experience, spans across capital markets in over 150 countries. Fitch Ratings is widely recognized by investors, issuers, and bankers for its credible, transparent, and timely coverage.

AccessBank was established to provide access to financial services for Azerbaijan‟s micro and small businesses and low and middle income households. AccessBank is recognised as “The best bank of Azerbaijan” by Global Finance (2011) and Euromoney (2010 & 2011) in their annual awards as well as “The Bank of the Year” by The Banker (2011). AccessBank is 100% foreign owned by six shareholders, consisting of: the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation, the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, KfW Development Bank – the Development Bank of the German Government (20% per each), Access Microfinance Holding acting in microfinance field as a strategic investor (16.5%), and LFS Financial Systems GmbH – a German consulting company (3.5%).

For more information, please contact Nigar Mammadova: (99412) 5966617/ 18/ 19 (int. 108), or .