Tbilisi, Georgia, October 19, 2010—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, will work with Bank Constanta to improve
its risk management practices, which will help the bank increase lending
to smaller businesses in Georgia. This initiative is part of a broader
IFC strategy to strengthen local banks in the aftermath of the global financial
Bank Constanta is a new commercial bank that evolved from a leading microfinance
organization with more than 10 years’ experience in Georgia. Experts from
the IFC Financial Crisis Response Program in Europe and Central Asia will
train the bank’s staff on best practices in risk management as well as
help with prioritizing their operations. These efforts will help the bank
become more profitable and increase its lending to companies.
“Our cooperation with IFC will help us strengthen our business and increase
profitability,” said Levan Lebanidze, Bank Constanta Director, after signing
a cooperation agreement. “IFC will help us analyze and improve our existing
portfolio and adjust our strategy to the changing environment.”
Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Head, Caucasus, said, “Constanta is the first
Georgian bank to join IFC’s regional Financial Crisis Response Program.
We are working with financial institutions across the region to strengthen
their risk management capabilities. Our long-term objective is to help
banks emerge from the crisis with enhanced risk management framework and
capabilities to protect them from future crises.”
IFC’s Financial Crisis Response Program
in Europe and Central Asia was launched in 2009, in partnership with the
Austrian Ministry of Finance. The program has delivered training to over
1,000 senior and middle-level banking professionals, disseminating good
practice on risk management and how to deal with distressed assets. IFC
experts are also working on legislation to help create a transparent and
working market for distressed assets to facilitate the post-crisis recovery
in the region.
Georgia became a member of IFC in 1995.
IFC’s cumulative investments in Georgia since then total nearly $500 million
in 35 projects across a variety of sectors. Through its advisory services,
IFC is working toward reforming the country’s tax system to benefit small
businesses, while helping companies improve corporate governance practices
and raise food safety standards. Bank Constanta has been an IFC client
through the IFC Georgia Corporate Governance Project.
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.
About Bank Constanta
Bank Constanta joined Georgian commercial banks in July 2008 and became
the first Georgian microfinance organization to convert into a bank. The
company has successfully operated in the Georgian financial market since
1997, providing services to small and micro businesses through 21 outlets
across Georgia. Bank Constanta partners with a number of international
donors and financial organizations. In September 2010, the first foreign
shareholder, Oikocredit, joined the bank as shareholder. Bank Constanta
serves nearly 15,000 clients and its credit portfolio exceeds $35 million.
For more information, visit www.constanta.ge.
For more information about the Austrian Ministry of Finance, visit http://english.bmf.gv.at.