Washington, D.C/Bucharest October 24, 2001—The
International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank, will invest Euro 15 million to refurbish and modernize a cable manufacturing
plant, ICME ECAB, in Bucharest, Romania. The aim of the project is
to create a modern, cost-efficient, environmentally sustainable plant producing
a wide variety of cables, conductors and wires.
The IFC loan will be coupled with an investment exceeding Euro 15 million
by Hellenic Cables, the leading cable manufacturer in Greece. The
investment will create new employment opportunities, both directly with
the company and indirectly through associated suppliers.
The agreement was signed in Romania by Ms. Sujata Lamba, IFC’s Manager
for Southern Europe/Central Asia. “The investment signals IFC's continued
commitment to promoting private sector development in Romania through long-term
finance that is not easily available in the country,” Ms. Lamba said.
“We are pleased to support the modernization of ICME ECAB,
a major productive asset and a key employer in the region. Since IFC’s
first visit last year, we have witnessed substantial improvement in both
the plant’s production process and its environmental condition. We
would like to acknowledge the progress that has been made by Hellenic Cables’
and ICME’s teams in this regard,” she added.
Mr. Khosrow K. Zamani, IFC’s Director for the Southern Europe/Central
Asia Department noted that the agreement between IFC and ICME has been
signed on the eve of the Second Regional Conference for Southeast Europe
organized by the Stability Pact and the Romanian Government. The conference
will include discussions on macroeconomic stability, market-oriented reforms,
and foreign direct investment in Southeast Europe. The Stability
Pact, a group of more than 40 partner countries and multilateral organizations,
is dedicated to promoting peace and prosperity in the region. “The
investment in ICME is a model case of regional investment expansion, which
is critical to improving regional stability by strengthening cross border
cooperation and regional economic growth,” Mr. Zamani said.
Over the long term, the project is expected to serve as a model for further
private sector development in Romania by providing a clear example of the
successful application of modern management methods, the attraction of
first-class industry sponsors, development of a key industry through strategic
alliances, and the promotion of best practices in corporate governance.
The project is also designed to meet the stringent environmental and social
standards of the World Bank.
Hellenic Cables is the largest cable manufacturer in Greece. It is
a part of the Viohalco Group of Companies, the leading metals group in
Greece, and one of the largest industrial enterprises in the country, employing
more than 4,500 people. ICME ECAB marks IFC’s second project with the
Viohalco Group. Earlier, IFC financed the post-privatization and modernization
of its copper processing plant in Bulgaria, Sofia Med. IFC expects
to continue assisting the Group in its cross-border expansion across the
To date, IFC has approved $462.6 million in investments in 23 projects
in Romania with a total cost of $1.1 billion.
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.