Washington DC, May 19, 2005 — The International
Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector financing arm of the World
Bank Group, provided a $42 million to Volga Shipping Company (VSC) and
a $47 million loan to North-Western Shipping Company (NWSC) to acquire
up to eight newly built dry cargo short sea vessels each.
VSC, headquartered in Nizhny Novgorod, and Saint-Petersburg based NWSC
are the largest Russian river and short-sea shipping companies with operations
in Western Russia, Europe and the Mediterranean, transporting cargo and
river tourists with fleets of over 200 and 150 vessels respectively. The
companies were privatized in early 1990’s and are locally owned.
The total financing packet includes $48 million in loans for IFC’s own
account and syndicated loans of $41 million for the account of HSH Nordbank
AG, Hollandsche Bank-Unie N.V. and Natexis Banques Populaires. The financing
will be used to renew the fleet with the new Russian designed and built
Rusich-type vessels which will primarily be involved in the transportation
of Russian export and import bulk and containerized cargo.
“IFC’s investment in Volga Shipping and North-Western Shipping will support
the companies’ continued growth and help to strengthen Russia’s regional
export capacity and economic growth,” said Mr. Francisco Tourreilles,
Director of IFC's Infrastructure Department.
Mr. Edward Nassim, IFC’s Director for Central and Eastern Europe, said,
“The importance of transportation for the sustainable economic development
of such a vast country as Russia is hard to overestimate. IFC’s investment
in the shipping companies will help provide efficient transportation for
regional trade flows, especially facilitating Russia’s exports of dry
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.
Russia joined IFC in 1993. Since then, IFC has committed $1.8 billion,
including $200 million in syndicated loans, to finance 92 projects across
a variety of sectors. IFC’s portfolio in Russia stands at $1.3 billion.
Currently, Russia is the second largest country exposure after Brazil in
IFC’s global portfolio. IFC’s investments are spread across the country’s
most important sectors including banking, leasing, housing finance, infrastructure,
mining, agribusiness, pulp and paper, construction materials, oil and gas,
telecommunications, information technologies, retail, and health care.