Vienna, Austria, 16 May 2008—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with Austria’s
Soravia Real Estate Development GmbH to support commercial real estate
development in the Balkans and create better conditions for doing business
in the region.
IFC’s equity investment and mezzanine loan facility will support a series
of commercial property development projects in Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia. These projects will help create
jobs and provide an affordable real estate infrastructure to local businesses.
This is IFC’s first equity investment in a property development company
focusing on the Balkan region.
“This agreement represents a very important and strategic partnership
for us. IFC will provide financing and expertise in the local emerging
markets that lack quality commercial real estate,” said Martin Ohneberg,
Soravia’s Chief Financial Officer.
“The commercial property sector has been growing rapidly in the Balkans
but a lot remains to be done.” said Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC Director for
Southern Europe and Central Asia. "The sector is a priority for IFC
in the Balkans where it has the potential to attract large amounts of capital,
generate significant employment, help boost the commercial infrastructure
necessary for increased business activity, and help facilitate the trade
of good and services to the benefit of small companies and consumers."
Soravia is also considering other commercial property projects in Albania,
Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, and Ukraine.
For more information about the company, visit www.soravia.at.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth
in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing
private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing
advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s
vision is that poor people should have the opportunity to escape poverty
and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized
an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance
for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory
services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.