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IFC Loan to Increase Small Business Lending in Georgia, Support Economic Recovery


In Tbilisi:
Tamar Barbakadze, IFC

Phone: +995 32 23 00 00/01/02

E-mail:
TBarbakadze@ifc.org

Tata Shavdia, Bank Republic

Phone: +995 32 92 55 55

E-mail:
tamar.shavdia@republic.ge

In Washington, D.C.:
Julie Ziegler, IFC
Phone: (202) 473-0128

E-mail:
JZiegler@ifc.org


Tbilisi, Georgia, July 14, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing Georgia’s Bank Republic with a $20 million loan to increase access to finance for small and medium enterprises and help speed up economic recovery.

It is a part of IFC’s regional strategy aimed at strengthening the region’s banking sector while supporting economic recovery by boosting lending to small and medium enterprises.


“Bank Republic and IFC enjoy the mutually beneficial and very professional long-term partnership that ultimately facilitates the development of the banking, financial, and economic sector of the country,” said Gilbert Hie, CEO of Bank Republic.  “The loan provided by IFC will support expansion of our portfolio in upcoming period, thus making Bank Republic more capable to offer a wide range of banking solutions to small, medium, and large corporate customers.”


Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Head, Caucasus, said, “We are pleased to expand our strong partnership with Bank Republic.  IFC’s financing will improve access to finance for small and medium enterprises, which account for significant output and employment in the Georgian economy, and it will support job creation and economic growth.”


IFC began working with Bank Republic in 2005, through IFC’s corporate governance project in Georgia. As a result, Bank Republic became the first Georgian bank to attract western investors.  In the past two years, IFC has provided Bank Republic with $42 million debt finance to support the bank’s lending programs for small and medium enterprises, mortgages, and education.  The bank also participated in the IFC Global Trade Finance Program.


In March 2009, the largest multilateral investors and lenders in Central and Eastern Europe—the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank Group, and the World Bank Group, including IFC—pledged to provide up to €24.5 billion to support the banking sectors in the region and to fund lending to businesses hit by the global economic crisis.  Under the two-year plan, the World Bank Group pledged to provide support of about €7.5 billion including up to €2 billion through IFC.  IFC’s crisis response initiatives under the plan focus on sectors including banking, infrastructure, and trade, as well as through its traditional investment and advisory services.  

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About Bank Republic

Bank Republic is a leading commercial bank in Georgia with rapidly expanding operations in retail and financial services. The bank employs more than 1,000 staff and has 49 branches and service centers across Georgia through which it offers innovative and tailor-made products and services to its customers.  Bank Republic is a subsidiary of Société Générale Group, which currently holds 80 percent of the bank’s shares. For more information about Bank Republic, visit
www.republic.ge.
For Société Générale Group, visit
www.socgen.com.