Athens, Greece, August 23, 2016—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a €100 million trade finance
facility to Eurobank, a leading Greek bank, as part of IFC’s Global Trade
Finance Program (GTFP), marking the first entry of a bank in Greece into
IFC’s trade program.
IFC’s trade facility will help Eurobank boost its trade finance activity
and competitiveness, with a focus on export-related business, by providing
risk mitigation for individual trade transactions through GTFP’s growing
network of issuing and confirming banks.
Financing global trade is a priority for IFC as it drives economic growth
and creates jobs by improving the cross-border movement of goods across
the supply chain. IFC’s GTFP provides essential support and liquidity
for trade flows through a global network of more than 500 bank partners,
helping small and medium enterprises access the global trading system.
“The agreement is part of our initiative to restore the Greek economy,
and will benefit both entrepreneurs, who are struggling to remain competitive
globally under unfavorable conditions, and the Bank,” said Eurobank CEO
Fokion Karavias. “Having returned to profitability, we prioritize supporting
the Greek economy,"
Eurobank Group and IFC have developed a strong partnership through the
participation of the Group’s subsidiary banks in Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria
in the GTFP since 2010. To date, IFC has extended over $1 billion in cumulative
trade finance support to Eurobank’s Balkan subsidiaries and their local
customers, helping them tap new markets and commercial partners. IFC deepened
its engagement last year, becoming a minority shareholder in Eurobank.
“Greece has a competitive advantage in international trade with its geographical
position as a historical, commercial, cultural and economic crossroads,”
said Marcos Brujis, IFC Global Director, Financial Institutions Group.
“Unleashing Greece’s export potential and connecting local companies
to international markets can help tremendously to revive the Greek economy
and drive development.”
IFC has a growing relationship with Greece’s private sector, with an exposure
of nearly €600 million in Greek financial institutions and companies operating
outside the country. IFC has been a long-term partner of Greek companies
and financial institutions, mainly through continued support to subsidiaries
of Greek banks in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, and has helped Greek
companies expand into emerging markets.
In 2015, at the request of the Greek government, IFC’s Board endorsed
a selective and temporary IFC reengagement in Greece. Last year IFC participated
in the recapitalization of Greece’s four main banks, acquiring €150 million
worth of shares to restore financial sector stability and investor confidence,
strengthening the banking sector.
At its inception in 2005, IFC’s GTFP network had just 20 banks supporting
$300 million in trade annually. The award-winning program now covers more
than 500 banks in 150 countries, and last year supported more than $6 billion
in trade. To date, IFC’s Trade and Commodity Finance Solutions have supported
over $130 billion in global trade all directly linked to the movement of
key commodities, capital goods, technology and services across and between
emerging market borders.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working
with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to
create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments
in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital,
expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty
and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
The Eurobank group is a dynamic banking group active in eight countries,
with total assets of €72.9 billion and 16,912 employees. Established in
1990, the Group expanded through organic growth and acquisitions to become
a leading force in recent years’ developments and the shaping of the banking
sector. With a total network of over 970 branches in Greece and abroad,
the Group offers a comprehensive range of financial products and services
to its retail and corporate customers. In Greece, Eurobank is one of the
four pillars of the banking system. The Group also holds a strategic position
in retail and business banking in Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia, offers
distinguished Wealth Management services in Cyprus, Luxembourg and London
and is also present in Ukraine.