Press Releases

IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Lars Thunell Highlights IFC Priorities in Uzbekistan

In Tashkent:
Anvar Meliboev
Phone: (+998-71) 238-5928

In Moscow:
Ilya Sverdlov
Phone: (+7495) 411 7555

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, August 18, 2008—Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President and CEO of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today concluded his first official visit to Uzbekistan by emphasizing that IFC will continue to increase access to finance for micro and small enterprises, contribute to improving the business enabling environment, and help develop housing finance. IFC will also seek opportunities for new investment in agribusiness and manufacturing.

During his visit, Thunell met with Rustam Azimov, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Uzbekistan, and discussed opportunities to expand cooperation. They signed a cooperation agreement establishing a new framework for assessing the impact of regulations affecting Uzbek businesses.

Thunell signed a $3 million loan for Uzbek Leasing International A.O., the first leasing company established in Uzbekistan and an existing IFC client. This loan will enable the company to expand financing options for micro and small businesses.  

Thunell also met with the management of Hamkor Bank, a leading private bank in Uzbekistan and an existing IFC client, to learn about conditions in the banking industry and to discuss new IFC financing for the bank.

“IFC is working with the government to improve business conditions and make financing more accessible in Uzbekistan,” Thunell said. “Access to credit will help companies expand their businesses, create jobs, and help more people own homes.”

Since 1994, IFC has invested $55 million in 14 projects in Uzbekistan’s food processing, construction materials, banking, and leasing industries. IFC’s current portfolio is worth about $6 million, most of which is invested in Asaka Bank, ABN AMRO Bank NB Uzbekistan, Hamkor Bank, Parvina Bank, and Uzbek Leasing International.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit