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IFC Joins with Association of Regional Banks to Support Russian Regional Banks


In Moscow:
Nezhdana Bukova
Phone: +7 495 411 7555
E-mail: nbukova@ifc.org

Moscow, Russia, December 7, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with the Association of Regional Banks of Russia to improve risk management and loan resolution practices, facilitate the transfer of distressed assets, and assist Russian regional banks with refinancing options to  promote regional banking sustainability.



IFC will work with selected ASROS-member banks to assess their risk management and loan resolution practices, provide targeted advisory services to strengthen risk and loan portfolio management practices,  and restructure and transfer distressed assets.  IFC also will promote financial instruments for recapitalizing banks and handling distressed assets and will provide ongoing support of trade finance and energy efficiency investments.
       
“Currently, most  Russian regional banks cannot rely on state financial aid,” said Anatoly Aksakov, President of the Association of Regional Banks of Russia.  “However, these banks play significant roles  in their respective markets, especially in remote regions. We believe that this agreement will raise our cooperation with IFC to a new, higher level and make our joint efforts to support regional banking systems more systemic and strategic.”  

Jyrki Koskelo, IFC Vice President of Europe, Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Global Financial Markets, said, “IFC’s strategy in Russia and wider region is to support banks in expanding access to finance for local small and medium businesses, thus contributing to the diversification of regional economies and increased employment.  We are very pleased to partner with the Association, and look forward to continued successful cooperation.”

This agreement is part of the IFC crisis management advisory program in Europe and Central Asia aimed at strengthening financial markets in countries most affected by the economic crisis, so that financial institutions will emerge from the downturn and resume lending to the real sector in a more sustainable fashion.  

IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets.  Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including by improving sustainability of banking systems of frontier regions of Russia.

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
www.ifc.org.

About the Association of Regional Banks of Russia
ASROS is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to join efforts of its members to improve the banking system of the Russian Federation, participate in the formation of a legislative and regulatory framework for banking, provide economic and legal guarantees of the banks, and facilitate their independent development. For more information, visit www.asros.ru.