Almaty, Kazakhstan, April 17, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is helping two leading financial institutions
in Kazakhstan improve corporate governance practices, which could help
strengthen their businesses during a time of financial crisis and make
them more attractive for investors.
KazMicroFinance and the Oil Insurance
Company have joined IFC’s Central Asia Corporate Governance Program, a
project that works with local companies to help them become more sustainable
and potentially draw more investment, which is lacking in Kazakhstan. IFC
will assess the two companies’ corporate governance practices and develop
tailored improvement plans to align them with international best practices.
“Good corporate governance can help
Kazak companies better manage challenges and opportunities arising from
the global economic crisis,” said Tomasz Telma, IFC Senior Manager for
Central Asia. “In times of crisis, investors are more likely to invest
in companies that have strong governance.”
IFC will advise and train directors,
managers, and key shareholders of each company. Strengthening their governance
practices and businesses will also enable the companies to better serve
their corporate and retail clients across the country.
Oil Insurance Company is one of the
largest insurance companies in Kazakhstan. Each year, it provides a full
range of insurance services to more than 50,000 legal entities and 250,000
individuals in Kazakhstan and abroad.
KazMicroFinance is a leader in Kazakhstan’s
microfinance market, providing access to financial services to micro and
small businesses in rural and urban areas countrywide. The company is currently
serving more than 27,000 clients in 22 cities and 464 villages.
The two companies are well-known in
the Kazakh market and their efforts to improve corporate governance will
serve as role models for other market participants.
Since 2006, IFC has worked to improve
the corporate governance practices of companies and banks across Central
Asia, helping them enhance operations and increase their ability to attract
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. Our new investments totaled $16.2
billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For
more information, visit www.ifc.org.