Press Releases

IFC Helps Expand Access to Finance for Smaller Businesses in Kazakhstan

In Washington, D.C.:
Lotte Pang

Phone: +1 202 758 4290


In Belgrade:

Slobodan Brkic

Phone: +381 11 3023 750


Almaty, Kazakhstan, January 23, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that it will provide a $45 million five-year senior loan to JSC Bank CenterCredit (BCC) that will enable the bank to extend loans to small and medium enterprises in Kazakhstan.

IFC’s investment will help address the limited access to finance for Kazakhstan’s small businesses, which has been exacerbated by the global liquidity crisis. IFC previously provided BCC with a loan in 2005 and a trade finance line in 2006.

“We are pleased to consolidate our strategic relationship with IFC through this transaction,” said Vladislav Lee, Chairman of BCC’s Management Board. “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 Kazakhstan.”

Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC Director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, said, “BCC has become IFC’s main platform for scaling up financing for Kazakhstan’s smaller businesses. We are pleased to extend this new loan and to continue supporting the bank under difficult conditions in international financial markets.”

BCC is the sixth-largest bank in Kazakhstan in terms of total assets, holding 7.2 percent of total banking system assets. It provides a full range of banking products, including corporate loans (mainly to small and medium enterprises and micro entrepreneurs), car loans, consumer loans, and mortgage finance.  Its branch network includes 20 full-service branches, 187 retail branches, and 303 automated teller machines.  

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. IFC’s new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit