Press Releases

IFC Supports Commercial Real Estate Development in the Balkans

In Washington, D.C.:
Carmen Powell
Phone: +1 202 473 4982

In Belgrade:

Slobodan Brkic

Phone: + 381 11 3023 750


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

About IFC

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