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IFC supports regional expansion plans of second largest steel producer in Bulgaria


In Washington, D.C.:
Thoko Moyo

Phone: + 1 202 458 8517

Email:
tmoyo@ifc.org


Sofia, Bulgaria, July 06, 2006- The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has provided a Euro 18 million loan to Stomana Industry S.A., the second largest steel producer in Bulgaria, for the construction of a new hot rolling mill.

Stomana Industry is an existing client of IFC and the new financing will help the company take advantage of its available, and as yet underutilized melting capacity to increase sale of higher value-added products.

Stomana Industry is owned by Sidenor Steel Products Manufacturing Company S.A. (Sidenor), the leading producer and marketer of steel products in Greece.  Sidenor is a part of Viohalco Group, the largest metal processing group in Greece and an existing IFC client.

“IFC has been playing an important role in supporting Sidenor’s expansion plans in the Balkan region.  This project is of strategic importance to us and will help us optimize our operations and strengthen our ability to respond to the strong demand for high quality steel products presented by the expanding economies of the Balkan countries” said Stavros Theodoropoulos,  Sidenor’s representative.

Since it acquired the company in 2001, Sidenor has significantly invested in Stomana’s modernization and environmental performance and turned it into a profitable enterprise.

“IFC’s investment in Stomana Industry is helping a local player enhance its regional presence.  This is in line with IFC’s mission to promote sustainable private sector investment in emerging markets.  The transaction strengthens our relationship with Sidenor and the Viohalco Group as they expand outside Greece.” concluded Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC’s Director for Global Manufacturing and Services.

About IFC

The mission of IFC (
www.ifc.org) 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. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.