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IFC Chief Peter Woicke Visits Romania, June 7-9, 2004


In Washington, D.C.:
Georg Schmidt

Phone:   + 1 (202) 458 2934

Cell Phone:  + 1 (202) 294 4854
Fax: +1 (202) 974 4384

Email:
Gschmidt@ifc.org

In Bucharest
:

Ana Maria Mihaescu

Phone: +40 (21) 211 2866

Fax:     +40 (21) 211 3141

Email:  
amihaescu@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., BUCHAREST, June 7, 2004 — Peter Woicke, head of the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, is visiting Romania June 7 - 9. Mr. Woicke is also World Bank Managing Director for Private Sector Development.

“My visit underlines the strategic importance IFC attaches to its work in Romania,” said Mr. Woicke. He added, “IFC’s main goal in Romania is to support development of the private sector, helping it benefit from opportunities and meet challenges during the EU accession period. IFC will further increase its investments and advisory services in order to strengthen market forces and help Romania’s economy integrate into the EU’s single market.”


Mr. Woicke will call on President Iliescu, Prime Minister Nastase, Finance Minister Tanaescu, Foreign Affairs Minister Geoana, and Health Minister Branzan to discuss Romania’s roadmap for private sector development and explore how IFC can best assist the reform agenda. Mr. Woicke will also meet current and potential clients including Banca Transilvania, Banca Comerciala Romana, BankPost, Miro Bank, and Arctic Gaesti.


While in Bucharest, Mr. Woicke will sign an agreement for a 20 million Euro loan to Banca Transilvania, which will give further momentum to the bank’s mortgage lending operations and help expand the emerging housing finance market in Romania. Mr. Woicke will also announce the disbursement of a $111 million equity stake in Banca Comerciala Romana, in advance of its impending privatization. In dollar terms, the loan represents IFC’s largest-ever single equity investment in a bank. IFC, together with co-investor EBRD, has also spearheaded major changes in corporate governance at BCR to prepare it for privatization.


IFC’s strategic priorities will include further support for Romania’s large-scale privatizations and financial sector reform. IFC will also help advance private-public partnerships, as it has started to in the health sector; support the restructuring of Romania’s municipal infrastructure; and invest in competitive manufacturing industries.


IFC’s key investments in Romania include two privatized banks, BCR and Banc Post, as well as projects in small business lending, housing finance, insurance, and leasing. In the manufacturing sector, IFC has provided financing for the paper, automotive parts, household products, cable manufacturing, and wood processing industries. IFC has also assisted the government in restructuring public utilities and attracting private capital to the energy and health sectors.


To date, IFC has committed more than $580 million in financing for projects in Romania. Investments include more than $390 million for of IFC’s own account and $190 million for banks participating in loan syndications. Currently, Romania represents IFC’s second-largest country portfolio in Southern Europe and Central Asia after Turkey. IFC’s committed financing to Romania is expected to reach $165 million in fiscal year 2004.


The mission of IFC (
www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY03, IFC has committed more than $37 billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY03 was $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held for participants in loan syndications.