Tbilisi, Georgia, September 22, 2015—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is supporting Bank Republic, one of the
leading banks in Georgia, with a $30 million loan to provide much-needed
financing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), encouraging business
growth and job creation.
Access to finance remains among the most challenging factors for doing
business in Georgia, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness
Index 2014-2015. SMEs often find it more difficult to attract finance.
IFC’s long-term financing to Bank Republic, a Georgian subsidiary of Société
Générale Group, will be used to on-lend to smaller businesses across Georgia,
broadening SME access to a wide range of high-quality banking services.
“Our cooperation with IFC will help us meet increasing customer demand
for SME financing, significantly growing our SME portfolio,” said Antoine
Gabizon, CEO of Bank Republic. “This long-term funding will help foster
economic growth in Georgia.”
Jan van Bilsen, IFC Regional Manager for the South Caucasus, said: “Creating
opportunities for SMEs is a key way to advance development and reduce poverty,
and it is a strategic priority for IFC. This support for Bank Republic,
our long-time partner, furthers IFC’s efforts to support SMEs, a vital
economic segment in Georgia.”
In the past several years, IFC has provided Bank Republic with about $80
million financing to improve access to finance in Georgia. The bank also
participates in the IFC Global Trade Finance Program.
Since Georgia became an IFC member in 1995, IFC has provided a total of
more than $1 billion in long-term finance, including $362 million mobilized
from partners, supporting 52 projects across various sectors. In addition,
IFC has supported trade worth nearly $300 million through its trade finance
program. IFC has also implemented a number of advisory projects focused
on private sector development.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working
with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise,
and influence, to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15,
our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion,
helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort
to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information,
About Bank Republic
Bank Republic, a member of the Société Générale Group since 2006,
is one of the most successful banking institutions in Georgia. Established
in 1991, the bank enjoys a leading position in the retail and corporate
market. Thanks to its universal business model, Bank Republic Société Générale
Group remains a reliable long-term financial partner for its clients. The
bank provides simple, transparent and innovative banking products and a
superior quality of service via its 40 branches throughout Georgia.
About Société Générale
Société Générale is one of the largest European financial services groups.
Based on a diversified universal banking model, the Group combines financial
solidity with a strategy of sustainable growth, and aims to be the reference
for relationship banking, recognized on its markets, close to clients,
chosen for the quality and commitment of its teams. Société Générale has
been playing a vital role in the economy for 150 years. More than 148,000
employees, based in 76 countries, accompany 32 million clients throughout
the world on a daily basis. Société Générale’s teams offer advice and
services to individual, corporate and institutional customers.