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IFC PROVIDES FINANCING TO BULGARIAN BANK


Brigid Janssen
Phone: (202) 458-4698
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: bjanssen@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 14, 1999 – The International Finance Corporation has agreed to a financing package that will help the Bulgarian American Credit Bank (BACB) respond to the growing demand for financing by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).  

IFC will provide BACB with a five-year loan of up to US$5.0 million for long-term on-lending to private-sector SMEs.  In addition, as a part of the financing package, IFC has an option to acquire an equity stake of up to 20 percent in the bank.


By strengthening a Bulgarian banking institution that is oriented to small and medium-sized businesses, IFC will bolster the development of Bulgaria's banking sector and the growing base of Bulgarian entrepreneurs, which are key to the country's future economic growth.   The IFC financing is the Corporation's first SME credit line in Bulgaria.  Mr. Harold Rosen, IFC Director for Central and Southern Europe, said that in the due diligence review, IFC had been impressed by the strength of the bank's management, staff, and portfolio as well as its dedication and expertise in the crucial SME sector.  


Mr. Frank Bauer, the Chairman of the Board of the BACB, said that the IFC financing will boost BACB's ability to promote entrepreneurship and is a vote of confidence in the bank's institutional strength.


The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and improve people's lives.  IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. To date, IFC has approved US$109 million in investments in seven projects in Bulgaria with a total cost of US$406 million.