Press Releases

IFC Helps Expand Lending in Central Asia and Azerbaijan, Supporting Small Businesses

In Bishkek:
Kymbat Ybyshova
Phone +99 631 262 6162

Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, September 13, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping financial institutions in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan improve their lending  practices, facilitating new bank loans to small and medium enterprises that drive national economies in the region.

IFC, in partnership with Iceland’s CreditInfo Solutions and Colombia’s LiSim, has launched a two-day seminar in Bishkek on how financial institutions can use new automation tools, credit scoring, and credit bureaus in their loan operations. The seminar helps bankers combine their underwriting procedures with credit bureau services, improving the effectiveness of their lending to small and medium enterprises and individual clients.

IFC partnered earlier this year with other leading international credit bureaus and local partners to organize similar seminars in Baku, Dushanbe, and Tashkent.

“Developing and implementing effective credit scoring and automation tools enable financial institutions to obtain a less risky loan portfolio,” said Akjoltoi Elebesova, Executive Director of the Credit Information Bureau Ishenim. “Banks also reduce their operating costs through faster and more accurate credit decisions, less cost-intensive assessment of loan transactions, and better understanding of credit risk factors.”

Fabrizio Fraboni, an advisor with IFC’s Global Credit Bureau Program, said, “Credit bureaus allow financial institutions to reduce loan processing time and credit defaults. IFC initiated this seminar to help countries establish and strengthen credit information sharing, which is critical to expanding access to credit for individuals and small businesses.”

This initiative is part of the IFC Azerbaijan-Central Asia Financial Markets Infrastructure Advisory Services Project, implemented in partnership with Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, SECO. The IFC project is working to strengthen financial markets in the region by improving credit information systems, risk-management practices, and training, as well as by facilitating distressed loan resolution.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit

For more information about SECO, visit

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