Press Releases

IFC Helps Kyrgyz Microfinance Institution Transform into Commercial Bank

In Washington, DC:
Thoko Moyo
Phone: +1 (202) 458-8517

In Istanbul:
Antoine Courcelle-Labrousse
Phone: +90 212 385 300

In Almaty:
Gorton de Mond
Phone: +7-3272 980 580

In Bishkek:
Gulnura Djuzenova
Phone: +996 (312) 610-650

In Belgrade:
Rolf Behrndt
Phone: +381 11 3023 750

Bishkek, June 1, 2007 — IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement to provide advisory services to Micro Credit Agency Bai-Tushum Financial Foundation, one of Kyrgyzstan’s leading microlending institutions. This support will help the institution transition into a commercial bank and expand its financial services to reach smaller entrepreneurs in the Kyrgyz Republic. The signing ceremony was attended by Michel Mordasini, Executive Director from Switzerland, IFC/World Bank Board of Directors.

This agreement follows a $2.2 million IFC financing package provided last year to Bai-Tushum. Under the new agreement, IFC will assist with the company’s transition as well as wrap up work it began in 2005 to help Bai-Tushum develop its leasing operations, policies, and procedures.

Guinara Shamshieva, General Manager of Bai-Tushum said, “IFC’s financing and advisory support will enable us to expand our financial services, especially in rural areas of the Kyrgyz Republic. This support will also aid the smooth transformation of our foundation into a commercial bank.”

The $300,000 advisory project will include training for Bai-Tushum’s employees on risk management, microdeposit services, and internal controls and audits. The project is supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Gorton de Mond, IFC Regional Representative for Central Asia, said, “The Bai-Tushum project reflects IFC’s strategy to strengthen local financial institutions and expand microfinance in the region to support private sector development. It is critical to provide support for smaller businesses, as they help boost the private sector and create jobs.”

IFC’s development agenda in the Kyrgyz Republic complements the goals of local authorities for developing the country’s financial sector. The Bai-Tushum project is the first of its kind in the country and provides an opportunity for the authorities to refine and apply the rules and regulations that address the transformation of qualified microcredit institutions.

About IFC
IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries. IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06, IFC Financial Products have committed more than $56 billion in funding for private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure, to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance, and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information, please visit

About Bai-Tushum
Bai-Tushum was established in 2000 with the support of the United States Agricultural Cooperative Development International/Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance and CARITAS, a Swiss relief agency.  Bai-Tushum provides microcredit services to private entrepreneurs, traders, farmers, and micro and small agricultural enterprises.  Its loans range from $500 to $30,000 and are denominated in the local currency. The institution received a merit award for financial transparency in a worldwide competition organized by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, a global resource center for microfinance standards.