Washington, D.C., October 15, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with Raiffeisen International
Bank-Holding AG to expand access to trade finance through its network banks
in Russia, the Czech Republic and Bosnia and Herzegovina, helping support
trade and lessen the impact of the global financial crisis.
The addition of these Raiffeisen International
network banks to IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program is part of IFC’s
broader activities under the Joint International Financial Institution
Action Plan targeting Central and Eastern Europe. Launched in February
2009 by the three largest multilateral investors and lenders in the region—the
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment
Bank Group and the World Bank Group—the action plan aims to help private
enterprises cope with the economic crisis by supporting local banking systems
and increasing lending to small and medium enterprises.
“We are pleased to have three additional
Raiffeisen International network banks join IFC’s trade finance program,”
said Herbert Stepic, CEO of Raiffeisen International. “This will further
increase our capacity to provide trade facilities in the region, especially
to small and medium enterprises, and allow these three subsidiaries to
gain access to the network of banks participating in the program.”
Raiffeisen International’s banking
subsidiaries in Belarus, Kosovo, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine already
participate in IFC’s trade program.
Jyrki Koskelo, IFC Vice President for
Europe, Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Global Financial
Markets and Funds, said: “Bringing Raiffeisen’s network banks into
our trade program will help ease the crunch on trade financing in Central
and Eastern Europe. We are pleased that our existing partnership with Raiffeisen
is growing globally.”
IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program
supports trade in emerging markets by providing partial or full guarantees
for individual transactions, using payment risk guarantees to international
banks that issue financing to the local banks. The program helps banks
boost their capacity for delivering trade finance in challenging markets
where such financing may be limited. Since being launched in 2005, the
program has issued $3 billion in guarantees worldwide through a network
of more than 300 participating banks.
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 $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing
countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Raiffeisen International
Raiffeisen International operates one
of the largest banking networks in Central and Eastern Europe, covering
17 markets across the region through subsidiary banks, leasing companies,
and other financial service providers. The group’s nearly 60,000 employees
service about 15 million customers via more than 3,100 business outlets.
Raiffeisen International is a fully consolidated subsidiary of Raiffeisen
Zentralbank Österreich AG, a leading corporate and investment bank in Austria.
For more information, visit www.ri.co.at.