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IFC Widens its Commitment to Small Business Finance in Romania


In Washington:
Georg Schmidt

Phone: +1 (202) 458-2934

Fax:      +1 (202) 974-4384

Email:
Gschmidt@ifc.org

In Bucharest:

Ana Maria Mihaescu

Phone: +40 (21) 211-2866

Fax:      +40 (21) 211-3141

Email:
amihaescu@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C./BUCHAREST, December 9, 2004 — The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today provided a $7 million convertible credit line to Romania’s Bank for Small Industry and Free Enterprise (MINDBANK). Mindbank will use IFC’s investment to diversify into long-term lending to small and medium enterprises.

A private bank specializing in serving Romanian small businesses, Mindbank can now offer loans with maturities between 18 months and three years. This allows Mindbank to meet market needs better.


Jyrki Koskelo, IFC Director for Global Financial Markets, noted, "This investment underlines IFC's strategy for Romania. We support financial intermediation to accelerate private sector development and improve access to finance for local micro and small enterprises.”


Khosrow Zamani, IFC Director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, added, “The loan will help MINDBANK diversify its business and attract many new micro and small enterprise clients. This will give further momentum to the bank’s dynamic development.”


Ioan Prundus, Chairman of MINDBANK, said, “IFC’s investment will allow the bank to serve the increasing number of clients that need long-term financing. This bodes well for private sector wealth and job creation.” He added, “IFC’s loan marks the start of what MINDBANK expects to mature into an important and long-lasting relationship.”


The mission of IFC (
www.ifc.org) 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 FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.