Baku, Azerbaijan, April 27, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is investing up to $15 million in Azerbaijan’s
Access Bank that will help increase access to credit for micro and small
enterprises in underserved regions of the country.
IFC’s long-term loan to Access Bank
is in line with its strategy in Azerbaijan to focus more on vulnerable
small entrepreneurs, which are the engine of economic growth in the country.
It will support the bank’s growth plans and outreach in underserved areas,
contributing to poverty reduction and employment generation.
“IFC’s continuous support for Azerbaijan’s
small-business sector is critical for local entrepreneurs and for our bank,
especially during the economic downturn,” said Andrew Pospielovsky, General
Manager of AccessBank.
Access Bank, a long-standing partner
of IFC, is a leading provider of financial services to micro and small
enterprises in Azerbaijan. The bank also serves low- and middle-income
families and has more than 50,000 business clients. It has an extensive
branch network and is continuing to expand its reach throughout the country.
Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC Director for Southern
Europe and Central Asia, said: “By investing in and sharing IFC’s global
knowledge with Access Bank, we could help the bank sustain its strong position
in this adversely changing environment.”
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 $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous
year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.