Press Releases

IFC Provides $95 Million To Banque Société Générale Vostok For Retail Banking And Leasing

IFC, Moscow
Nezhdana Bukova

Phone: (7 095) 411 7555

Fax:     (7 095) 411 7556


IFC, Washington

Irina Likhachova  

Phone:(1 202) 473 1813

Fax:    (1 202) 974 4801


Moscow, June 8, 2004—The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector financing arm of the World Bank Group, will provide a $75 million line of credit to Banque Société Générale Vostok (BSGV) and a €16 million credit line to the bank’s subsidiary BSGV Leasing. BSGV will use IFC’s funding to expand its retail banking, mortgage lending and leasing operations, as well as to support lending to medium-sized private Russian enterprises. The loan agreements were signed today in Moscow by Farida Khambata, Vice President of IFC, Jean-Louis Mattei, Director of Société Général Group’s Division responsible for Retail Banking outside Metropolitan France and Michel Bricout, Chairman & Managing Director of BSGV.

BSGV brings Société Générale’s worldwide expertise in retail banking to Russia where this market is still underdeveloped. The amount of outstanding retail loans in Russia is estimated at 1% of the country’s GDP, compared to about 70% in France and 100% in Germany. Société Générale also brings its international leasing experience to the Russian market. The market for leasing services in the country has grown rapidly since the adoption of amendments to the Law on Leasing and related changes to the Tax Code in 2002, which IFC helped facilitate through its technical assistance program in the sector.

“IFC’s strategy in Russia is to support leading financial institutions in the country that bring best practices to the market, promote competition, and provide affordable financial services to Russian citizens and businesses,” said Ms. Farida Khambata at the signing ceremony in Moscow. “A well developed retail banking and leasing market will play an important role in raising living standards of Russian citizens.”

Mr. Jean-Louis Mattei noted,  “Société Générale Group’s international retail banking operations cover 28 countries, with core operations in Central and Eastern Europe. Société Générale views Russia as a key market in which to consolidate its retail banking operations in the region and extend services to its clients. The proposed financing would further strengthen Société Générale’s strong 30 year partnership with IFC in various emerging markets, and both institutions are interested in further extending this cooperation to Russia.”

BSGV is a 100 % subsidiary of Société Générale Group, established in 1993 in Moscow and was one of the first foreign banks to get a licence from the Central Bank of Russia. BSGV Leasing is 100% integrated with BSGV operations. Société Générale is one of the few major global banking groups in the Russian market to announce its expansion program in the retail banking sector. The credit ratings of Société Générale (Moody’s:  Aa3, Standard & Poor’s:  AA-, Fitch: AA-) reflect its strong commercial position, diversified sources of income, core profitability, and good risk controls.

International Finance Corporation ( Russia joined IFC in 1993. Since then through the end of March, 2004, IFC has committed $1.53 billion, including $210 million in syndicated loans, to finance 74 projects across a variety of sectors. IFC significantly increased its investment program in Russia in the last fiscal year (July 2002 – June 2003), approving nearly $700 million of investments. IFC's increased activity reflects the improving investment climate in Russia, greater opportunities in an increasingly broad range of sectors, and stronger foreign investor interest.

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing 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 FY03, IFC has committed more than $37 billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio as of FY03 was $16.7 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held for participants in loan syndications.

IFC press releases are available on line at

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Banque Société Générale Vostok
& BSGV Leasing
Ekaterina Trofimova, Elena Kojadei
Phone: (7 501) 720 6700
Fax : (7 501) 720 6749