Press Releases

IFC Supports Belarus’ First Microfinance Bank, Reaching Small Businesses

In Minsk:
Nadezhda Sinelnik

Phone: (375 17) 219 7811


Minsk, Belarus, October 6, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping Belarus’ first microfinance bank expand the availability of credit for small and medium enterprises. The Belarusian Bank for Small Business, which announced start of operations today, will provide financing to private entrepreneurs and smaller businesses, offering loans from €100 to €200,000 with maturities of up to four years.

IFC provided €1.4 million in equity and $1 million in advisory funding to support the bank’s startup. The bank will operate as a closed joint stock company with a full banking license.

IFC is also considering additional financing to help the bank grow its lending operations.    

Snezana Stoiljkovic, IFC Director for Central and Eastern Europe, said, “We are happy to support the Belarusian Bank for Small Business. Smaller enterprises are crucial for developing the economy, boosting the services and trade sectors, and expanding the middle class. We will continue to back the new bank and wish it much success.”  

In addition to IFC, the bank’s other shareholders are Commerzbank AG, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), Nederlanse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO), ShoreBank International Ltd., Shorecap International Ltd, and Swedfund.

Belarus became a member of IFC in November 1992. At the invitation of the government, IFC has been involved in advisory work in the country since 1993. To date, IFC has implemented a range of advisory projects and has invested about $153 million in the local financial, agribusiness, and retail sectors.

IFC supports microfinance activities worldwide. As of June 30, 2008, IFC’s global commitments in the sector exceeded $942 million, with a record $316 million committed in fiscal 2008.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit