Bucharest, Romania, June 27, 2007 —
IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will provide a five-year
local currency loan to Romania’s ProCredit Bank to expand its operations,
promoting competition and improving access to finance for micro, small,
and medium enterprises.
The $15 million equivalent investment
will be the second local currency loan offered by IFC in the Romanian market.
As an internationally triple-A rated institution, IFC leverages its credit
to provide customized local currency products to private sector clients.
Michael Kowalski, General Manager of
ProCredit Bank, said, “smaller businesses are critical for economic development
in Romania, and they have proven to be dynamic and reliable partners. The
IFC loan should trigger further growth in our loan portfolio and increase
access to finance for many more very small and small entrepreneurs.”
Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC Director for Southern
Europe and Central Asia, said, "We are pleased to work with ProCredit
Bank to provide local currency, long-term funding to micro, small, and
medium enterprises in the country. Improving access to finance through
a dynamic private commercial bank like ProCredit Bank is important to strengthen
the small business segment of the economy and prepare it for competition.”
Ana Maria Mihaescu, IFC Chief of Mission
in Romania, said, “IFC's innovative initiative to provide long-term funding
in local currency to Romanian banks will help them better match the maturities
of their assets and liabilities. The lack of such financing has meant that
borrowers, particularly smaller businesses, have had difficulty obtaining
financing or received foreign currency loans at their own currency risk.
Borrowing in a currency different from that of one’s revenues is ultimately
a risk. Therefore, firms are prudent to concentrate on their core businesses
and not take on currency bets.”
IFC, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.
IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners
in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people
have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06,
IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion in funding for
private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications
for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services
and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support
to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure,
to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance,
and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information,
please visit www.ifc.org.
About ProCredit Bank, Romania
ProCredit Bank, founded in 2002, is
a development-oriented full-service bank in Romania. It offers excellent
customer service and a wide range of banking products. In its credit operations,
it focuses on lending to very small, small, and medium enterprises, as
these businesses create the largest number of jobs and make a vital contribution
to the Romanian economy. The bank is the leading provider of credit and
general banking services to entrepreneurs and businesses throughout Romania.
Unlike other banks, it does not promote consumer loans, but instead focuses
on responsible banking by building a savings culture and long-term partnerships
with its customers. ProCredit Bank offers its clients – individuals as
well as legal entities – various deposit options at attractive conditions.
ProCredit Bank Romania is part of the ProCredit Group, which is present
on three continents. For more information, please visit www.procreditbank.ro