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IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Highlights Priorities for Ukraine


In Kiev:
Larissa Shidlovskaya
Phone: (+380 44) 490 64 00
E-mail:
lshidlovskaya@ifc.org

In Moscow:
Ilya Sverdlov
Phone: (+7495) 411 75 55
E-mail:
isverdlov@ifc.org


Kyiv, Ukraine, August 27, 2008—Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President and CEO of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today said that IFC will continue supporting the growth of Ukraine’s private sector through investments and advisory programs focusing on agribusiness, infrastructure, cleaner production, and access to finance. Speaking at the end of an official visit to the country, Thunell also emphasized IFC’s aim to help maximize Ukraine’s agribusiness potential throughout the value chain.

Thunell met with Ms. Valentyna Zavalevska, Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy, to discuss opportunities for expanding cooperation between IFC and Ukraine. He stressed that IFC is ready to help private agribusiness companies meet the growing demand for food and mitigate escalating food prices. "Rising food prices are a catastrophe for the world's poor," Thunell said. "Part of IFC's response is to help increase production in countries such as Ukraine that have strong agribusiness potential."

Thunell met with IFC investment clients, including the management of Khlibprom, a baking company, and Rise, an agribusiness servicing company. Three years of cooperation with IFC helped Rise expand its products and services, increase outreach to clients, improve transparency and governance, and triple its sales volume. Thunell also met with clients of the IFC Vinnitsa Fruit Supply Chain Development Project, which is being implemented in partnership with Austria’s Ministry of Finance.

Thunell signed a loan agreement with Swedbank, a leading commercial bank in Ukraine. IFC is providing a $70 million loan for its own account to Swedbank and Swedbank Invest. IFC will also play a critical role in mobilizing parallel and syndicated loans of approximately $69 million in order to complete the financing package. Swedbank, a former IFC advisory client, will use the financing to expand access to finance for small businesses and potential home owners who cannot access financing outside Kyiv under current market conditions.

Since Ukraine became a member of IFC in 1993, IFC has committed about $1 billion in 42 projects in the country, covering such sectors as agribusiness, construction materials, energy, financial markets, retail, and services. IFC is also implementing seven advisory services projects in agribusiness, energy efficiency, housing finance, leasing, and regulatory simplification.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.