Press Releases

IFC, Center-Invest Bank Pioneer Russian Residential Energy Efficiency, Agribusiness Finance Initiatives

In Western Europe:
Manuel Rosini

Phone: (33-1) 4069-3182


In Moscow:

Nezhdana Bukova

Phone: 7 (495) 411 7555


Frankfurt, Germany, November 19, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with long-term client Center-Invest Bank to pioneer residential energy efficiency financing in Russia and expand access to finance for small and medium enterprises in the country’s agribusiness sector.

The financing package consists of a loan for 300 million Russian rubles ($10 million equivalent) for residential energy efficiency; a 600 million rubles ($20 million) loan to onlend to small enterprises in the agribusiness sector in Southern Russia; and a $10 million trade finance guarantee facility to expand the foreign trade operations of the bank’s local small and medium enterprise clients.

Residential energy efficiency is a new financial product to be developed with support from the IFC Advisory Services team. Center-Invest Bank will provide loans to home-owner associations and housing-management companies to finance energy efficient renovations of multifamily buildings.

“We are grateful for IFC’s long-term financial support and valuable advice, which help us provide our clients with much-needed innovative products,” said Dr. Vasily Vysokov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Center-Invest Bank. “We look forward to further successful cooperation.”

Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, said at the signing event to mark the deal: “Addressing climate change and supporting agribusinesses are global priorities for IFC. We are pleased to work with Center-Invest Bank to expand financing for energy efficiency in Russia’s housing sector and to promote lending to underserved small and medium enterprises in the agriculture sector.”

Since 2002, IFC supported four projects with Center-Invest Bank for the total amount of $16 million, including piloting energy efficiency finance in Russia.

IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including by supporting Russia’s banking sector, especially in underserved regions.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit

About Center-Invest Bank

Center-Invest Bank provides corporate, business, and retail customers in southern Russia with a comprehensive range of banking services in compliance with international best practice. Center-Invest Bank has an expanded branch network consisting of more than 130 branches, additional offices, and cash desks in the Rostov, Volgograd, Krasnodar, and Stavropol regions. For more information visit: