The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) started its trade finance program in Greece with 10-million-euro revolving trade finance facility provided to the Greek Aegean Baltic Bank (ABBank), a private shipping bank established in 2002, it announced on Friday.

ABBank is the first Greek bank to work with the BSTDB for trade financing.

ABBank will use the facility to finance trade transactions of its clients who import goods from BSTDB member countries or export goods worldwide. The facility supports trade transactions among BSTDB’s member countries, specifically trade in oil products among Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Russia.

The facility has a repayment period of up to 360 days and will be revolving and committed.

"We are happy to expand BSTDB’s fast growing support for the Greek economy by extending our trade finance program to the country, BSTDB President Ihsan Ugur Delikanli said. "Our very first loan to a Greek bank symbolically goes to the Aegean Baltic Bank, a shipping bank financing trade transactions in our Black Sea region. Working with ABBank under the trade finance facility is in line with our strategic objectives to help strengthen the Greek financial sector and to support the country’s exporting businesses bringing revenues to the economy and state budget," he added.

The operation will also help increase regional trade, one of the BSTDB's goals as a regional development bank, he noted.

Theodore Afthonides, CEO of ABBank, said that the transaction will "expand (ABBank's) traditional shipfinance activities by financing import and export trade in the Black Sea region," which he called "a much-needed and very promising new activity" for the bank and its expanding client base.

Since the beginning of its operations in Greece, Thessaloniki-based BSTDB has approved financing for 24 projects in the country to the total amount of 480 million euros. Over the past two years, the bank has considerably increased its financing in Greece, bringing the country’s portfolio from the 10th to the 2nd place among its eleven member countries. In 2017, BSTDB signed new loan agreements in Greece for over 122 million euros.