Press Releases

IFC Investment to Expand Access to Finance for Small and Medium Enterprises in Kazakhstan

In Washington, D.C.:
Lotte Pang
Phone: +1 202 758 4290

In Istanbul:
Basak Ulgen
Phone: +90 212 385 3075

Almaty, Kazakhstan, September 28, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today it will invest in JSC Bank CenterCredit, providing long-term capital that will help promote access to finance for small and medium enterprises in Kazakhstan.

IFC will invest in a 12.5 percent equity stake alongside local shareholders and the strategic investor Kookmin Bank of South Korea, and provide an $85 million subordinated loan. IFC has previously extended two senior loans and a trade finance line to BCC, a medium-sized bank that focuses on small and medium enterprises.

“This important alliance with IFC and Kookmin Bank will allow BCC to strengthen its positions in the local market,” said Vladislav Lee, Chairman of BCC’s Management Board.

“BCC is a key partner for IFC in addressing the financing needs of small and medium enterprises in Kazakhstan, which are vital for private sector development,” said Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC Director for Southern Europe and Central Asia. ““IFC is pleased to provide continued support to an existing client under challenging conditions in international financial markets.”

BCC is the fifth largest bank in Kazakhstan in terms of total assets, holding eight percent of the banking system’s total assets and 14.4 percent of retail deposits. It provides a full range of banking products, including corporate loans mainly to smaller businesses and micro entrepreneurs, retail services, consumer loans, and mortgage finance.  

Kookmin Bank is the largest bank in Korea with assets of $208.2 billion as of the end of 2008. It employs more than 25,700 staff and has five overseas branches, four subsidiaries, and three representative offices around the world. The bank provides standard banking, insurance, credit card, and investment products services.

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 $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit