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
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
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
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
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.
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 www.ifc.org.