Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, July 12, 2012—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a 120 million Russian ruble
($3.6 million) loan to Forus Bank, the only domestic bank specializing
in microfinance, to increase access to financial services for people and
small businesses in central Russia.
The loan will support Forus Bank as it expands lending in rural areas,
helping create jobs and diversifying regional economies. Active in 26 regions
of central Russia, the bank is a role model in responsible lending among
microfinance institutions. IFC’s ruble financing will mitigate the bank’s
currency exchange risks.
“Our deep understanding of small business and their financial service
needs, such as speed and simplicity, complemented by the long-term finance
provided by IFC, will help us continue expanding operations,” said Stacie
Schrader, chairman of the management board of Forus Bank.
Tomasz Telma, IFC Director for Europe and Central Asia, said, “We are
committed to long-term relationships with local microfinance institutions
and focused on helping them expand into less developed regions of Russia.
That growth helps generate much-needed job opportunities and contributes
to economic development.”
This is IFC’s second loan to Forus; the first came in 2006 and was valued
at $5 million. The initiative is part of IFC’s strategy in Russia to support
private sector development and encourage economic growth. The country became
a member and shareholder of IFC in 1993. Since then, IFC has invested nearly
$6 billion in Russia, including $1.5 billion in syndicated loans, and is
involved in 250 projects across a variety of sectors. IFC’s investment
portfolio in Russia stands at $2.54 billion, the third-largest country
exposure for IFC globally.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing
countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing
advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital
in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty
across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental
performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving
our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information,
About Forus Bank
Since 2006, Forus Bank has been serving individuals, entrepreneurs and
small businesses with financial services. Covering 26 regions in the Russian
Federation, it has disbursed more than 100,000 loans supporting the development
of small businesses in Russia. To learn more, visit www.forusbank.ru