Press Releases

IFC and Bank Respublika to Boost Access to Finance for Azerbaijan’s Businesses

In Baku:
Rasmina Gurbatova
Phone: (+99412) 497-8981

In Washington, D.C.:

Lotte Pang

Phone: +1 202 758 4290


Istanbul, Turkey, October 8, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced it will invest $20 million in Bank Respublika, Azerbaijan’s fourth-largest private sector bank, to help increase lending to micro, small, and medium businesses in the country’s rural areas.

Bank Respublika aims to more than double its lending to small businesses, and expects half of its loans to be in rural areas of Azerbaijan where there is significant unmet demand for financing.  IFC’s senior loan to the bank will support these goals.

At the signing in Istanbul before the 2009 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund, Khadija Hasanova, Bank Respublika’s CEO said, “We welcome and appreciate IFC’s long-term support and partnership. This financing will support our strategy to expand outside Baku to help meet the financing needs of smaller enterprises.”

Jyrki Koskelo, IFC Vice President for Europe, Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Global Financial Markets and Funds, said, “Small businesses and the poor are most vulnerable in an economic downturn.  As we work to ensure that finance continues to reach the people and places where it’s needed most in the Europe and Central Asia region, we are pleased to partner with strong and well-managed institutions like Bank Respublika.”

This latest IFC investment in Bank Respublika builds on an existing relationship. In 2007, IFC provided Bank Respublika with a $5 million senior loan. The bank also participates in IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program as an issuing bank with a $10 million trade finance line from IFC.

Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC Director for the Southern Europe and Central Asia region, said, “This new transaction with Bank Respublika is closely aligned with our priorities in the region to provide financing to small businesses, to stimulate growth in rural areas where the poverty rate is highest, and to work with leading local banks to strengthen the financial sector.”

IFC’s strategy in Azerbaijan is to support diversification of the private sector, including the financial and real sectors, infrastructure, health, and education, through a combination of investment and advisory services. Since 1995, IFC has provided more than $300 million in financing for Azerbaijan.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit

About Bank Respublika

Bank Respublika was established in 1992 as a private commercial joint-stock bank. It offers universal banking services to retail and corporate segments through a network of 34 branches and service points. It is rated B2 by Moody’s with stable outlook.