Istanbul, Turkey, November 22, 2001—The
International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, has signed an agreement to invest US$2 million in Rambutya
Ltd, a Kazakh-Turkish joint venture which owns and operates a popular shopping
center and two supermarket grocery stores, one in Almaty and one in Astana,
the Kazakh capital. The IFC investment will help the Company expand
its supermarket locations in Astana, filling a growing need for high-quality
grocery goods at affordable prices and raising the standard of supermarket
retailing practices in the country.
Mr. Khosrow Zamani, Director of IFC's Southern Europe and Central Asia
Department, said that IFC's investment reflects the Corporation’s commitment
to supporting the Kazakh private sector. He said: “The two new supermarket
locations will create much-needed new private sector jobs, introduce best
practices in the retail and distribution sector, and support the efforts
of a foreign investor with a history of private sector success in the country.”
The two new supermarkets – known as Ramstores – will display the same
levels of hygiene, food safety, and quality consistency found in the other
three Ramstores operated by Rambutya Ltd. Rambutya is sponsored and
managed by Migros, a leading supermarket chain in Turkey with 450 stores.
Migros is owned by the Koc group of Turkey.
The financing agreement was signed in Istanbul by Mr. Zamani and Mr. Oktay
Irsidar, General Manager of Migros Türk. “In view of the popularity
of the stores and the growing demand for quality retailing facilities,
Migros has decided to expand into two new stores where the demand for such
facilities exists,” said Mr. Irsidar.
Mr. Zamani added: “Rambutya’s expansion will raise the overall standards
of retailing in the country as other chains and competitors work out ways
to improve the efficiency of their distribution and sales networks to match
them. This will, ultimately, benefit the Kazakh consumer as it strengthens
the private retail and distribution sectors.”
The original Ramstore shopping center in Almaty – a virtual hypermarket
established in 1999 that includes both a supermarket and traditional retail
shopping – attracted immense interest from Kazakh consumers. The
massive complex covered an area of 25,050 square meters, becoming one of
the largest shopping centers in Kazakhstan, a major job-creator, and a
national shopping attraction. IFC also helped to finance this hypermarket
with an $11 million loan.
IFC’s mission 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, and provides technical
assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Since its founding
in 1956, IFC has committed more than $31 billion of its own funds and arranged
$20 billion in syndications for 2,636 companies in 140 developing countries.
IFC’s committed portfolio at the end of FY01 was $14.3 billion.