Moscow, September 19, 2002—The International
Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector development arm of the World
Bank Group, provided a US$12 million convertible loan to Information Business
Systems (IBS), the largest information technology (IT) group in Russia,
to support the financial restructuring and expansion plans of the group.
IBS is the largest IT services provider in Russia, and operates the largest
offshore software development company in the country under the brand Luxoft.
It is also the largest distributor of foreign brand computer equipment,
and the exclusive distributor of Dell Computer products in Russia.
IFC’s investment will help increase the availability of information technology
products and services in the Russian market, helping fulfill the high demand
for IT services within corporations and government agencies. Improved
access to IT products and services will allow Russian companies to compete
more effectively in the international marketplace and increase the efficiency
of government agencies. IFC’s long term financing will also support
the potential creation of hundreds of IT-related jobs in Russia by training
skilled technology workers.
“With this investment, IFC is looking to support the development of a
strong and efficient information infrastructure and IT services in Russia,
which are essential to economic growth and modernization of business firms,”
said Mohsen Khalil, IFC’s Director of the Global Information and Communication
Technologies Department.: “This operation will also send a positive message
to potential investors about the attractive investment opportunities the
IT sector in Russia offers,” Mr. Khalil added.
”We welcome IFC’s commitment as it demonstrates that Russian companies
can attract funding if they are attractive businesses and adhere to sound
corporate governance and practices,” said Anatoly Karachinsky, IBS’ President
& CEO. “In addition to their deep understanding of both global
technology issues and the overall Russian market, IFC provided long-term
financing on more attractive terms than anything else available in market,”
Mr. Karachinsky added.
IFC has worked actively to support the development of a strong private
sector in Russia since it became a member in 1993. IFC has invested
over $136 million in equity and provided loans totaling $448 million to
the private sector in Russia, as well as mobilizing $110 million from other
sources of financing.
IFC’s mission 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, and provides technical
assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Since its founding
in 1956, IFC has committed more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged
$21 billion in syndications for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries.
IFC’s committed portfolio at the end of FY02 was $15.1 billion.