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,
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.
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.