Moscow, Russia, December 12, 2011—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and Russia’s Bank for Development and
Foreign Economic Affairs, Vnesheconombank, agreed on an additional $250
million in funding for the Russian Bank Opportunity Fund, to strengthen
the country's banking system and help expand access to finance for small
and medium enterprises.
Under the agreement, Vnesheconombank
will invest $250 million into the fund, matching an earlier commitment
from IFC. Following this additional investment the fund will have commitments
of $550 million. In June, IFC and Russia had pledged to invest $250 million
and $50 million, respectively.
“The Russian Bank Opportunity Fund
will be an effective tool to help finance the real sector of the Russian
economy, including small and medium enterprises,” said Vladimir Dmitriev,
Chairman of Vnesheconombank. “This initiative joins our efforts and resources
to create an instrument for mobilizing new capital for Russia’s banking
Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Vice President
for Eastern and Southern Europe, Central Asia, Middle East, and North Africa,
said: “The Russian Bank Opportunity Fund (RBOF) will expand access
to finance for businesses, helping diversify Russia's economy and increasing
employment, especially in Russia’s more remote regions. We welcome Vnesheconombank
as an investor in RBOF and we hope that the fund will not only provide
new capital to Russian banks, but also improve their corporate governance
and operational expertise."
For most regional banks in Russia, long-term
investments are still difficult to access, and constricted availability
of capital narrows the banks’ capacity to finance enterprises in the real
economy. A sound banking system is important for small and medium companies
because they form the base of every economy in the world. In Russia,
the growth of small and medium companies is especially important, as it
has great potential to diversify and expand Russia’s economy.
Russia became a member and shareholder
of IFC in 1993. Since then, IFC has invested nearly $6 billion in the country,
including $1.5 billion in syndicated loans. It is involved in 250 projects
across a variety of sectors. As of September 30, 2011, IFC’s committed
portfolio in Russia stood at $2.3 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, visit www.ifc.org
For more information about Vnesheconombank,