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IFC CEO Lars Thunell Visits Armenia; Highlights Post-Crisis Support for Banks and Businesses


In Yerevan:
Narine Hayrapetyan

Phone: +374 10  54 52 41

E-mail:
NHayrapetyan@ifc.org

In Washington, D.C.:
Elizabeth Price

Tel: +1 202 458 0387

E-mail: EPrice@ifc.org


Yerevan, Armenia, August 27, 2010—Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President and CEO of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, said that IFC is committed to helping minimize the impact of the economic crisis and promote long-term recovery in Armenia.
 
During an August 26 visit to Yerevan, Thunell met with President Serzh Sargsyan, Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, other top Armenian government officials, and IFC clients. The meetings included discussions on a range of crisis-and-recovery-related issues.


“IFC provided strong support in Armenia during the financial crisis helping to ensure that businesses and individuals continued to have access to finance and preserving jobs,” said Thunell. “We look forward to continuing to work with the government and our private sector partners to expand our activities with a focus on financial markets, renewable energy, and improving the regulatory environment for business.”


IFC’s crisis response program in Armenia provides financial support to clients and advice to banks to improve management of portfolios and non-performing assets. IFC’s expanded assistance to Armenian banks through its Global Trade Finance Program is increasing liquidity and facilitating more cross-border trade flows. During his visit, Thunell signed a $2 million trade finance agreement with Armenian Inecobank.


IFC’s crisis response in Armenia also includes support for the hard-hit real estate infrastructure, and for the mining sector, which has strong export potential. In addition, IFC promotes energy efficiency initiatives and finances renewable energy projects to help Armenian companies reduce their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, in line with IFC’s priorities for the Europe and Central Asia region.


Since Armenia became a member of IFC in 1995, IFC has invested $87 million in 18 projects across the industry spectrum including financial markets, general manufacturing, energy, mining and chemicals. IFC Advisory Services provide advice through projects focusing on the financial sector, sustainable energy, and regulatory simplification.


In fiscal year 2010, IFC achieved its highest ever level of investments in Armenia, with $35 million in total commitments for six projects in the financial, mining, and construction sectors.


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.