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IFC Helps Expand Access to Finance for Smaller Businesses in Montenegro


In Washington, D.C.:
Lotte Pang
Phone: +1 202 758 4290
E-mail: LPang@ifc.org

In Belgrade:
Slobodan Brkic
Phone: +381 11 3023 750
E-mail: SBrkic@ifc.org


Podgorica, Montenegro, June 16, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today said it will provide a €10 million loan to NLB Montenegrobanka that will enable the bank to extend loans to small and medium enterprises in Montenegro.

IFC’s investment will help address the limited access to finance for Montenegro’s small businesses, a problem exacerbated by the global financial crisis. This is the first IFC investment in Montenegro’s banking sector since independence was proclaimed in 2006.

“We are pleased to consolidate our strategic partnership with IFC through this transaction,” said Črtomir Mesarič, CEO of NLB Montenegrobanka. “With IFC’s loan, we can increase our support to small and medium enterprises, confirming our traditional commitment to them and further expanding our role in SME financing in Montenegro.”

Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC Director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, said, “NLB Montenegrobanka became IFC’s main platform for scaling up financing for Montenegro’s smaller businesses. We are pleased to extend this loan and support the bank under difficult conditions in international financial markets. Through this investment, we are also demonstrating our support for and confidence in the long- term prospects of Montenegro and its banking sector.”

The loan represents the first IFC investment under a regional partnership with the NLB Group of Slovenia, which owns an 88.11 percent stake in NLB Montegrobanka. IFC will consider further investments in selected subsidiaries of the NLB Group in the region, particularly in lesser developed economies of former Yugoslavia such as FYR Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About NLB Group and NLB Montenegrobanka
NLB Group is a leading regional financial services group from Slovenia that comprises of 55 companies in 17 countries. The Group is active in banking, leasing, factoring, insurance and asset management. Since 2003, the NLB Montenegrobanka has been controlled by NLB Group of Slovenia, which owns an 88.11 percent stake in the bank. NLB Montenegrobanka is a leading commercial bank in Montenegro. Through a network of branch offices and business units in Montenegro, the Bank is endeavoring to be available to all the ones wishing to cooperate with NLB Montenegrobanka, wherever they are. In addition, the availability of the Bank extends beyond the borders of Montenegro since it belongs to a huge regional family of NLB Group. For more information, visit www.montenegrobanka.com.