Novi Sad, Serbia, June 14, 2006—The
International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, has agreed to provide a €20 million credit line to NLB Continental
Banka of Novi Sad in Serbia. With that loan, the bank will expand
its term financing to small and medium enterprises and extend its retail
and consumer lending activities.
Edward Nassim, IFC’s incoming regional vice president for Europe, Africa,
and the Middle East, said, “The partnership with NLB Continental Banka
supports a pioneering bank in Serbia and a Slovenian banking- financial
group with a clear strategy to develop financial services in the Balkans.
The project is aligned with IFC's strategy that encourages access to finance
through the provision of term products for smaller businesses and individuals,
particularly in housing finance.”
Signing for NLB Continental Banka was done by Messrs. Zoran Djurovic,
General Director and Pavel Martinuc, Deputy General Director
“By partnering with IFC, NLB Continental Banka is able to tap into long
term resources and diversify our funding, which supports our strategy of
further strengthening a formidable banking group that can compete on a
regional scale’, said Mr. Djurovic.
The IFC credit line will enable long-term financing for individuals and
for small and medium enterprises. An important product will be mortgage
financing, which has been of limited availability to date.
Continental Banka was privatized in July 2005 and acquired by the leading
Slovenian banking - financial group, NLB Group. The IFC investment
is expected to support the bank’s turnaround and business expansion. It
also supports IFC’s strategy to develop the financial services sector
in the Balkans by working with regional banks.
About NLB Group
Today, NLB Group represents the largest banking- financial group in Slovenia.
Besides holding a considerable share of the Slovenian market, it is present
in EU Markets (Germany, Austria, Italy,Czeck Republic, Slovakia, Great
Britain) SE Europe markets (Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Russia. Accordingly, NLB Group is
addressing an overall population of 35 million people. The NLB Group has
59 members in 16 countries, 17 of which are banks, 11 financial leasing
companies, 12 trade finance companies (factoring, forfeiting, export financing),
3 insurance companies, 3 asset-management companies while 13 companies
are engaged in other activities. With almost EUR 13 billion of total
assets and 1,500 correspondence relations in 140 countries the NLB Group
services over three million clients and has has more than 8.000 employees.International
credit ratings that allow the NLB Group access to international financing
sources on favourable terms are: Moody's A2, Fitch A- and Capital Intelligence
A-. For more information, visit http://www.nlbgroup.si/
About NLB Continental Banka
NLB Continental banka a.d. Novi Sad is a universal commercial bank serving
companies, small and medium business and individuals. It holds approximately
1.7 percent of market share in terms of total assets in Serbia, while this
figure is considerably higher in Vojvodina, an economically important region.
The bank's market share is constantly increasing due to its very
good business results – such as last year's growth of 33% in its
balance sheet, 41% in its placements and 26% in its deposits. Also,
several major projects were undertaken in order to further improve the
Bank’s performance and to transform its operations and business structure
to a modern financial institution. Its wide network of branches and
agencies comprises 73 offices in all major industrial centers in Vojvodina
and Belgrade. For more information, visit http://www.cont.co.yu
The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the
World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.. Its 178 member
countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.
The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment
in developing and transition 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. From its founding
in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own
funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140
developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was
$19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants
in loan syndications. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.