Kyiv, Ukraine , May 31, 2005 — Today
the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, launched its Ukraine Banking Corporate Governance Project.
The project is funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of
The project’s goal is to improve the corporate governance practices in
Ukrainian banks. Better practices should raise the flow of investment and
improve access to capital for the banks. An enhanced capital structure
is in turn expected to stimulate business lending to the country’s small
and medium enterprises.
The project will focus on enhancing the internal controls of Ukrainian
banks as well as on applying a standardized corporate governance approach
to assessing the creditworthiness of the banks’ corporate clients. These
objectives will be accomplished through seminars and workshops, as well
as direct consultations with the banks on best practices in corporate governance.
In addition, the project will work with selected Ukrainian banks to carry
out a full corporate governance assessment, as well as provide support
in implementing the recommended changes.
To foster sustainability and promote self-regulatory initiatives within
the banks, the project will work with industry associations to strengthen
their activities and their client base. Public-private dialogue on banking
reforms is on the agenda as well. IFC will advise on the drafting of new
domestic legislation, drawing on international best practices. The main
participants in this undertaking are the National Bank of Ukraine, the
Ukrainian Securities and Stock Market State Commission, the Association
of Ukrainian Banks, and the First Securities Trading System.
Speaking at the project’s launch ceremony, Christian Faessler, Switzerland’s
ambassador to Ukraine, noted, “There is heightened interest in investing
in Ukraine following the Orange Revolution, and now is an ideal time for
banks to strengthen their international relations and integration into
international capital markets. To do this requires adherence to international
standards, and banks that raise their corporate governance standards clearly
have a better opportunity to raise international capital. It is this access
to capital that will determine the winners in the Ukrainian banking sector.”
Other speakers at the launch included Boris Timonkin, chairman of the board
of Ukrsotsbank, and Tatyana Vazhejievska, deputy chairman of Ukrsibbank.
Speaking on behalf of IFC were Elena Voloshina, head of operations in Ukraine,
and Desmond O’Maonaigh, the project manager.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is the private sector lending
arm of the World Bank Group. The mission of IFC (http://www.ifc.org/)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in emerging markets,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in transition and developing countries, 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 FY04,
IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23
billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries.
IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its
own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (seco) represents Switzerland
in multilateral trade organizations as well as in international negotiations.
It is also involved in efforts to reduce poverty and help developing countries
build a sustainable democratic society and viable market economy. Each
year Switzerland spends approximately 1.7 billion Swiss francs on economic
development cooperation and transition assistance to countries in need.