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IFC Provides $5 Million Guarantee to Ardshininvestbank to Facilitate Trade in Armenia


In Yerevan:
Narine Hayrapetyan

Phone: +37410 545242

E-mail:
NHayrapetyan@ifc.org

In Moscow:
Nezhdana Bukova
Phone: +7495 411 7555
E-mail:
NBukova@ifc.org


Yerevan, Armenia, June 15, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing Armenia’s Ardshininvestbank with a $5 million trade-finance guarantee that will facilitate trade in the country by helping the bank finance the foreign trade transactions of Armenian companies.

Ardshininvestbank has joined IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program as an issuing bank, gaining access to global network of banks supporting trade-finance operations. By extending and complementing banks’ capacity to provide trade finance, IFC aims to increase developing countries’ share of global trade and promote flows of goods and services among those countries.


“We appreciate the strong support from IFC, our long-term partner and shareholder, during these difficult times,” said Karen Safaryan, Chairman of the Council of Ardshininvestbank, who signed the agreement to become an issuing bank today. “The trade finance program will give us more opportunities to help our clients reach global markets.”


Snezana Stoiljkovic, IFC Director for Central and Eastern Europe, said: “We are glad to expand our partnership with Ardshininvestbank. Through this cooperation, we offer an incentive to the import and export operations of local businesses and support additional opportunities for job creation and economic growth in Armenia.”


Under the Global Trade Finance Program, which was launched in 2005, IFC provides partial or full guarantees for individual trade transactions and covers the payment risk of issuing banks in various countries. The program allows issuing banks to increase the volume and value of trade transactions, with enhanced tenors and access to competitive pricing terms.


Global trade is projected to contract this year for the first time since 1982. The World Trade Organization has cited the contraction in trade finance as a significant contributor to the decline in trade activity, which has been particularly acute in emerging markets. In response to the crisis, IFC has approved a $1.5 billion increase to the Global Trade Finance Program, doubling its ceiling to $3 billion.


To date, 135 issuing banks in 69 countries and 154 confirming banks in 76 countries have become members of the program. More than 2,600 guarantees have been issued for over $3.4 billion in commitments. Nearly one-third of the transactions involve trade between emerging markets, with 75 percent supporting small and medium importers and exporters.

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 Ardshininvestbank CJSC

Founded in 2003, Ardshininvestbank is one of the largest and most successful banks in Armenia. As of the first quarter of 2009, Ardshininvestbank was the second-largest bank in Armenia in terms of total capital (about $72 million). The bank operates a total of 55 branches throughout the country, and also has an office in Paris. It participates in the Assistance to Agricultural Reforms and Enterprise Development Programs of the World Bank, the International Migration Organization Loan Program, as well as in the SME Development Loan Programs of the Armenian National Center. For more information, visit
www.ashib.am.