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.
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.