Washington, D.C., / Belgrade, July 27, 2005
– The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the
World Bank Group, has signed an agreement to provide a EUR30 million line
of credit to HVB Bank Serbia and Montenegro A.D.
IFC’s financing (equivalent to $36.5 million) will help HVB Serbia expand
its long-term lending, primarily to small and medium enterprises and mortgage
operations. The investment is in line with IFC’s strategy to work
with key banks that have the potential to grow and offer basic financial
services to underserved groups. HVB Serbia is the fifth-largest bank
in Serbia and Montenegro and offers a range of banking services, including
retail, corporate, and institutional lending.
Jyrki Koskelo, Director of IFC’s Global Financial Markets Department,
said, “This project will enable HVB Serbia to offer long-term products
in a market that critically lacks long-term funding for financial institutions.
IFC’s role is therefore significant, and its impact will be high
given the gap it fills in offering term lending.”
Alexander Picker, CEO of HVB Serbia, said, “We are pleased to enter into
this partnership with IFC and to serve a market that will greatly benefit
from the range of products and services that HVB Serbia offers. We
hope to build on and deepen this relationship in the future.”
Khosrow Zamani, IFC’s Director for Central and Southern Europe and Central
Asia, said, “We look forward to helping build a strong financial sector
in Serbia and Montenegro. We intend to expand our presence and role
in offering a variety of products to the country’s financial sector.”
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
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, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44
billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143
companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio
as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.
HVB Bank Serbia is a member of the HVB Group through Bank Austria Creditanstalt’s
shareholding. Bank Austria Creditanstalt owns 99 percent of the shareholding
of HVB Serbia. Bank Austria Creditanstalt, in turn, is 77.5 percent
owned by the HVB Group, the second-largest banking group in Germany, with
the remainder of its shares publicly traded. In December 2004, HVB
Group announced its acquisition of 99 percent of the shares of Eksimbanka
through Bank Austria Creditanstalt. The combined bank has assets totaling
about EUR363 million and shareholders’ equity amounting to about EUR36
million at book. Ranking fifth in the banking sector, the combined bank
has a market share of 5.5 percent and employs a staff of more than 550,
who serve more than 75,000 customers in 41 branches.