Vienna, June 21, 2005 – The International
Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, signed
an agreement with Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding A.G., to provide
capital to support Raiffeisen’s expanding banking network in Central,
Eastern, and Southern Europe. IFC’s investment takes the form of loans
to Raiffeisen subsidiaries in Belarus, Russia, and Serbia.
“IFC’s partnership with the Raiffeisen group dates back to 1987, when
the group set up operations in Hungary. Since then, IFC has supported Raiffeisen
in the creation of an extensive banking and finance company network in
the region, from Hungary to Belarus, Bosnia, and Russia. We are pleased
to see the company extend its network of banks and finance companies to
15 countries, where they are leading players in their respective local
markets. We are proud to be a shareholder of Raiffeisen International,”
said Edward Nassim, IFC’s director for Central and Eastern Europe.
Herbert Stepic, chairman of the board of management of Raiffeisen International,
said, “We welcome and appreciate the continued support of IFC, our long-time
partner in many earlier projects. The outlook for growth and profits in
the region continues to be excellent, and we are well positioned to meet
the challenges in all of our key markets. We will continue to grow rapidly
across the region.”
Khosrow Zamani, IFC’s director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, added,
“Raiffeisen’s growth supports a critical mission for IFC, in bringing
international standards and excellent banking services and products to
corporate and retail customers in the region, and in helping spur the growth
of small and medium businesses and mortgage financing by making long-term
Mr. Stepic added, “With the loan facilities from IFC, we are even better
able to provide competitive financing, especially to smaller enterprises,
as they are the backbone of any economy. Their development is particularly
important to strengthen economies further, particularly in Belarus, Russia,
Raiffeisen International, a recently-listed company at the Vienna Stock
Exchange, is 70 percent owned by Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB).
RZB is the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking
Group, the country’s leading banking group. RZB also considers Central
and Eastern Europe part of its home market. Through Raffeisen International,
it operates a network of 15 subsidiary banks and 14 leasing companies.
Combined, these have about 950 business outlets, serving more than
5 million customers in 16 markets across the region.
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.