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IFC INVESTS IN TWO KAZAKH BANKS


Jannette Esguerra  
Phone: (202) 458-5204
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: jesguerra@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., October 12, 1999 — The International Finance Corporation is providing loans of up to US$15 million to Bank TuranAlem and up to $2.5 million to Kazkommertsbank, the two largest private banks in Kazakhstan.
TuranAlem, formerly a state-owned bank, was sold to a group of private investors early last year and is now seen as a model of successful bank privatization. IFC's loan will strengthen the bank's funding base and improve its liquidity position. The bank lends to private companies across a range of sectors in Kazakhstan and will use a significant portion of IFC's loan to target small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Kazkommertsbank, the largest bank in Kazakhstan and an IFC client since 1997, will also use the IFC loan to provide financing to SMEs that meet World Bank Group environmental guidelines.
Mr. Khosrow Zamani, IFC's Deputy Director for Central Asia, said that the project demonstrates IFC's confidence in both banks as well as Bank TuranAlem's successful privatization efforts. He added that IFC supports the development of a strong financial sector, which is crucial to the growth of the private sector in Kazakhstan.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.