Yerevan, May 29, 2006 – The International
Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today
announced that Armeconombank will be the first Armenian issuing bank to
join IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program.
IFC has approved an uncommitted trade finance line of up to $1 million
for Armeconombank to facilitate the bank’s trade finance operations worldwide.
Armeconombank is a private bank that focuses on small and medium-size enterprises.
This is IFC’s second project with Armeconombank.
Sabrina Borlini, IFC’s trade officer for the program in Europe, said,
"The Global Trade Finance Program will help Armeconombank expand its
growing trade finance operations by providing an attractive and flexible
new product that the bank can offer to its clients. By joining our global
program, the bank will also have access to a wide network of international
The Global Trade Finance Program supports trade with emerging markets by
supporting flows of goods and services to and from developing countries.
IFC provides guarantee coverage of bank risk in emerging markets, allowing
recipients to expand their trade finance transactions within an extensive
network of countries and banks, as well as to enhance their trade finance
service to their clients. IFC issued the program’s first guarantee
in September 2005. Since then, IFC has issued guarantees in excess of $180
million related to more than 245 transactions.
Edward Nassim, IFC’s Director of the Central and Eastern Europe Department,
said, “Availability of trade finance products in Armenia is important
for further development of the domestic economy. This will allow local
companies and entrepreneurs to obtain access to financing for their trade
operations and so help modernize Armenia’s industrial base. I am very
pleased that we pilot this product in Armenia with Armeconombank, our reliable
partner in other transactions in the region.”
Armeconombank’s Chief Executive Officer, Ashot Osipyan, said, “We highly
appreciate an opportunity to continue working with IFC on trade finance
operations in Armenia. We are proud to become IFC’s first partner bank
in Armenia in the Global Trade Finance Program. This financing will help
us increase the bank’s client base and broaden regional experience. The
bank will continue focusing on trade finance activities in the future to
remain a leader in this area in the country.”
Armeconombank is one of the largest, privately controlled banks in Armenia.
It is the 5th largest bank in Armenia in terms of assets, with 41 branches
across the country and 560 employees. Today the bank focuses on serving
SMEs, retail clients, and financial institutions. The bank had the net
worth of approximately $12 million and total assets of approximately $77
million equivalent as of the end of 2005.
The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the
World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. IFC coordinates
its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but
is legally and financially independent. Its 178 member countries
provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.
The mission of IFC 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. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Armenia became an IFC member in 1995. The Corporation began investing in
the country in 2000. As of May 2006, IFC has invested $9 million in 3 projects.
IFC continues to explore the investment opportunities in partnership with
strategic investors in both the financial and real sectors of the country.
In addition to the investment program, IFC has been providing advisory
services on corporate governance, improvement of the investment climate.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org/europe