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IFC Continues to Help the Efforts of Azeri Banks in Supporting Small and Medium Enterprises


In Washington, DC:
Elika Trifonova

Phone: +202 475 8357 - Fax: +202 974 4384

Email:
etrifonova@ifc.org

In Baku:

Aliya Nuriyeva
Phone: +994 (12) 921-941

Email:  
anuriyeva@ifc.org


BAKU, AZERBAIJAN, May 8, 2003—The International Finance Corporation signed loan agreements today totaling $2.4 million with Azerigazbank and Rabitabank, two of the largest private banks in Azerbaijan. The IFC loans will be used for on-lending to privately-owned small and medium  enterprises to finance business expansion and modernization and to provide working capital.

The project also includes a complementary program of technical assistance to provide the necessary know-how to the participating banks, focusing on enhancing the banks'  capacities in small business services such as credit evaluation, risk management, management information systems and internal controls and procedures.


Mr. Peter Woicke, executive vice president of IFC, noted that the project will “stimulate economic activity in a number of key sectors, which will assist Azerbaijan’s diversification efforts in the non-oil sectors to promote sustained economic growth and reduce poverty.” He added, “This project is part of IFC's strategy for the development of financial markets and strengthening support for small businesses in the region.  I am very happy to be able to personally express IFC's commitment to these objectives today."


“IFC is committed to supporting and strengthening Azerbaijan’s financial sector to enable it to provide much-needed financing to promote the development and growth of entrepreneurs in the small and medium business sectors,” said Mr. Khosrow Zamani, director of IFC’s Southern Europe and Central Asia Department. “We are very pleased to further develop the capacity of Rabitabank and Azerigazbank to provide loans to this target group whose success is vital to the long-term health of the economy of Azerbaijan,” he added.


The mission of IFC 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. Since its founding in 1956 through FY02, IFC committed more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged $21 billion in syndications for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio as of FY02 was $15.1 billion for its own account and $6.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.