Press Releases
print

IFC Invests In Mid-Sized Russian Oil Company


In Washington, D.C.:
Hannfried von Hindenburg
Phone: +1 202 458 5613
Fax: +1 202 974 4384
Email: hvonhindenburg@ifc.org

In Moscow:
Nezhdana Bukova
Phone: +7 095 411 7555
Email: nbukova@ifc.org


Washington/Moscow, June 20, 2006 — The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement to provide a $25 million, 5-year corporate loan to OJSC Alliance Oil Company, a mid-sized oil company with a focus on downstream petroleum operations in Russia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan. With its first investment in Russia’s oil refining and distribution industry, IFC will help create a benchmark for improved social, health, environmental and corporate governance standards in the country’s oil and gas sector.

The IFC investment will support the expansion and upgrading of OJSC Alliance’s gas filling stations, refineries, and loading/off-loading infrastructure at refineries and storage terminals. IFC will assist the company in introducing improved environmental, health, and safety standards throughout its operations. OJSC Alliance’s refineries will be upgraded in line with European Union standards to increase the company’s export potential. IFC will also support the company in adapting its corporate governance procedures to international best practice.

Mr. Edward Nassim, IFC’s director for Eastern and Central Europe, said: “The investment is designed to support OJSC Alliance on its path to enhanced environmental, health, and safety performance as well as improved corporate governance.  We also look forward to working with OJSC Alliance on its future plans to upgrade its refineries to produce petroleum products compliant with the latest EU standards, hence increasing the company’s yield of lighter petroleum products.”

Lance Crist, IFC’s manager of downstream oil and gas, commented, “IFC’s investment demonstrates our confidence in Russia’s mid-tier oil sector and the ability of companies such as OJSC Alliance to compete successfully in a very dynamic market.  We are glad to play a role in helping OJSC Alliance achieve its strategic objective to transform itself into a world-class integrated oil company.”

“IFC’s corporate loan is our first transaction with a multilateral financial institution.  The long-term nature of IFC’s loan and the significant due-diligence conducted by IFC constitutes a vote of confidence in our company.  Our partnership with IFC is an important milestone in OJSC Alliance’s ongoing transformation into a mainstream oil company, based on transparency, professional management, and strong corporate governance,” said Arsen Idrissov, President of OJSC Alliance Oil Company.

The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.  IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent.  Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

IFC manages environmental and social risks associated with the projects it finances through standards that its client companies are required to apply.  In collaboration with client companies, IFC looks at business opportunities arising from the protection of the environment and from social development.

Russia became a member and a shareholder of IFC in 1993.  Since then, IFC has invested $2.9 billion in the country, including $527 million in syndicated loans, to finance over 110 projects across a variety of sectors.  In FY05, IFC’s investments reached $832 million.  IFC’s investment portfolio in Russia currently stands at $1.8 billion, making it the largest country exposure for IFC globally.  IFC has invested in key sectors including banking, leasing, housing finance, infrastructure, mining, agribusiness, pulp and paper, construction materials, general manufacturing, oil and gas, telecommunications, retail, and health care. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org/europe.