Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, September 18, 2018—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, with support from the International Development
Association (IDA) Private Sector Window, is investing a $8 million in a
debut private equity fund by Highland Capital, an investment management
firm, to help expand access to finance for small and medium enterprises
(SMEs) in the Kyrgyz Republic.
The financing package includes $4 million from IFC’s own account blended
with $4 million from the IDA Private Sector Window.
The new Highland Private Equity and Mezzanine Fund, which currently has
$15 million in capital commitments, is the first institutional private
equity fund in the country. The fund will provide critical growth capital
of $800,000 to $5 million to local SMEs in services, agricultural processing,
health, education, telecommunications, media, and technology. This is critical
because smaller business across the country often struggle to access the
capital they need to expand.
Cholpon Jumashukurov, Highland Capital’s Senior Managing Partner, said:
“We are thrilled to have built a diversified base of high‐caliber investors,
including IFC and other private investors. We are thankful to IFC, our
anchor investor, and to Emil Umetaliev, a reputable local businessman,
who trusted our team and approach by investing in our fund. Our investment
approach fits the local market very well as it addresses the huge deficit
of risk capital. We see a large number of compelling investment opportunities
and we favor investments where our team can add significant value beyond
IFC’s financing will help the fund to provide risk capital to up to 15
SMEs in the form of equity and quasi-equity financing, while helping them
develop strong management systems and corporate governance practices.
“IFC’s investment is part of our broader efforts to foster investments
in SMEs, while spurring the creation of a local private equity market,”
said Cassandra Colbert, IFC Regional Manager for Central Asia. “By supporting
the country’s first local private equity fund, we hope to send a strong
signal to other investors thinking of entering the Kyrgyz private equity
Highland Capital is seeking $30 million in total for the fund and expects
to achieve final close by August 2019. In addition to IFC, Gregory Serrurier,
the fund’s first international investor, and Emil Umetaliev, a reputable
local businessman, are among the fund’s investors.
About Highland Capital
Highland Capital is a Bishkek-based investment management firm focused
on providing equity and quasi-equity financing to SMEs to help them institutionalize
and expand their operations. It is run by a seasoned team of investment
professionals led by Cholpon Jumashukurov and Eldan Usubakunov. Jumashukurov
has 10 years of investment management experience in the Kyrgyz Republic
and abroad. For more information, visit www.highland.kg
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more
than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging
the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared
prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About the IDA Private Sector Window
As part of the record $75 billion IDA18 replenishment, the World Bank Group
created the $2.5 billion IDA Private Sector Window to catalyze private
sector investment in the poorest and most fragile countries.
Recognizing the key role of the private
sector in achieving IDA18 objectives and the Sustainable Development Goals,
the window provides concessional funds for co-investment alongside IFC
and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) private investments.
Concessional funds help to mitigate risk and reduce barriers, which unlocks
and crowds in private investment in emerging markets. For more information,