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
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.
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 www.ifc.org.
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.