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IFC Makes its First Investment in Georgia’s Leasing Sector


In Washington:
Irina E.Likhacheva

Phone: +1(202) 473 1813

Email:
ilikhachova@ifc.org


Tbilisi, June 10, 2005—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has provided a $3 million loan to TBC Leasing, a fully owned subsidiary of TBC Bank, a leading Georgian bank.  IFC’s loan will allow TBC Leasing to accelerate its growth and address a growing demand for leasing from small and medium enterprises.

This loan is IFC’s first investment in Georgia’s leasing sector.  IFC has also been using technical assistance to promote development of the country’s leasing sector as a nonbank source of financing for small and medium enterprises.  With funding from the Canadian International Development Agency, IFC worked with the Georgian government to improve leasing legislation. IFC has advised the country’s leasing companies, including TBC Leasing, on best practices for conducting operations. In addition, IFC has trained and advised over 100 Georgian small and medium enterprises on how to use leasing to acquire new production assets, including how to work with leasing companies.


Edward Nassim, IFC’s director for Central and Eastern Europe, commented, “This investment is part of IFC’s ongoing effort to strengthen the financial sector in the region, as viable institutions are key to sustained economic growth. It will also assist in the development of the emerging small and medium enterprise sector in Georgia by increasing the availability of financing, including to companies that may have insufficient credit histories or collateral to obtain a bank loan.”


Jyrki Koskelo, IFC’s director for global financial markets, added, “IFC has had a strong institution-building role in developing Georgia’s financial markets. In strengthening the leading local leasing company, we are contributing to the growth of the industry. We aim to ensure TBC Leasing’s sustainable business success and will provide broad support.  This includes building capacity and transferring know-how.”


TBC Leasing’s chief executive officer, Thea Lortkipanidze, said, “TBC Leasing is extremely pleased to partner with IFC. We thank IFC for the confidence placed in us and look forward to continuing our good cooperation.” She added, “It is crucial for us to identify customer needs correctly and achieve sound growth through high-quality financial leasing products and services. IFC’s long-term facility will support our strategy of funding small and medium enterprises, and it will add to our overall business success.”


Georgia joined IFC in 1995. Since then, IFC has approved more than $100 million in investments in the country, mainly projects in financial services, infrastructure, and manufacturing.


The mission of IFC (
www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.