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IFC’s Record Lending to Armenia Supports Access to Finance for Businesses


In Yerevan:                                                
Narine Hayrapetyan                

Phone: +374 10 54 5242                

E-mail: NHayrapetyan
@ifc.org        

In Tbilisi:

Tamar Barbakadze

Phone: +995 32 223 43 00/01/02

E-mail:
TBarbakadze@ifc.org


Yerevan, Armenia, August 1, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, committed around $70 million in Armenia in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, representing its highest-ever level of support for the country. IFC invested in 11 projects with a focus on restoring and expanding access to finance for businesses.

IFC’s investment portfolio in Armenia is about $102 million of debt and equity investments in financial markets, manufacturing, and mining. Through credit lines to banks, IFC significantly increased lending to small and medium enterprises in the last fiscal year, including those operating in the agribusiness sector.

“After IFC’s record commitments in Armenia in the previous fiscal year, we almost doubled our commitments in fiscal year 2011, creating opportunities for development of the private sector across various sectors,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Head for the Caucasus. “We are constantly seeking new investment opportunities in the financial and real sectors, and are looking forward to providing targeted advice to contribute to economic growth and employment in Armenia.”  

Highlights of IFC’s results in Armenia in fiscal year 2011:


       IFC expanded its Global Trade Finance Program, which gives Armenian banks and their clients, especially small and medium enterprises, more favorable terms of import and export transaction finance;

       IFC introduced an innovative product – interest rate and foreign currency swaps – to help local banks better manage currency and interest rate risks, and help improve their competitiveness and profitability;

       IFC continued strengthening risk management practices in local banks through targeted advice and trainings;
       IFC provided advice to the state agencies on designing and implementing investment climate reforms helping reduce administrative burden on businesses saving their time and resources;
       IFC supported sustainable energy finance through targeted advice to banks on renewable energy financing, and helped small hydropower plants meet international standards and improve their efficiency.


IFC's strategy in Armenia is part of the joint World Bank Group Country Partnership Strategy and is in line with IFC’s regional priorities for Europe and Central Asia, which include reaching more of the region’s poor and vulnerable, creating jobs, increasing access to infrastructure, supporting agricultural development, and tackling climate change.


Since Armenia became a member of IFC in 1995, IFC has invested $147 million in 28 projects across the industry spectrum, including financial markets, manufacturing, and mining. IFC Advisory Services provide advice through projects focusing on the financial sector, sustainable energy, and regulatory simplification.


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org


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