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IFC Investment to Improve Retail Quality and Business Infrastructure in Georgia


In Washington, D.C.:
Carmen Powell
Phone: +1 (202) 473-4982
E-mail:
CPowell@ifc.org

In Tbilisi:
Thea Gigiberia
Phone: +995 32 913 096
E-mail:
TGigiberia@ifc.org


Tbilisi, Georgia, November 4, 2008-IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with Uptown Tbilisi Development LLC and its parent company Rakeen Development PJSC to build the first large-scale, multipurpose shopping mall and office tower complex in Tbilisi, Georgia, that will create jobs and help develop the local retail sector.

IFC’s $49.7 million financing package will support this cross-border project between Rakeen Development, an investor based in the United Arab Emirates that is seeking external growth opportunities, and Uptown Tbilisi Development, a private developer in Georgia that has strong foreign investment needs.

The project will introduce new retail standards and enhance local business and retail infrastructure in Georgia. It will also lead to significant job creation, while expanding access to quality goods and better retail services for local consumers.


Khater Massaad, Chairman of Rakeen’s Board of Directors, said, "Today marks a key milestone in our strategic expansion, and it is our hope to continue participating in Georgia’s economic growth and development.” Acknowledging IFC’s partnership and support of the project, he said, “We hope to continue our collaboration with IFC on future projects."


Snezana Stoiljkovic, IFC Director for Central and Eastern Europe, said, "In Georgia, IFC is focusing on the long-term sustainability of existing private sector clients, helping restore foreign investor confidence in the country and supporting the development of small and medium enterprises. The Uptown Tbilisi project is a good example of this. We hope that our support will promote foreign direct investment in the retail sector and encourage similar investments in the country."

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. 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.

About Rakeen

Rakeen was established in 2006 in the United Arab Emirate as a property development company, with a focus on domestic and international projects, especially in emerging and frontier markets. The company’s expansion into Georgia is part of its strategy to diversify its portfolio and business operation
.