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.