Tbilisi, Georgia, July 23, 2012—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with Bank of Georgia to
expand lending to smaller business, especially those owned by women, supporting
financial inclusion and improving the competitiveness of Georgia’s economy.
IFC is providing Bank of Georgia with
a $25 million loan to support the lender in reaching out to female entrepreneurs,
who face more challenges accessing credit than their male counterparts.
Through the bank’s network of 164 branches, the program is expected to
help small and medium enterprises (SME) both inside and outside of the
capital. This is IFC’s first loan in Georgia under its Banking on Women
program, which helps women to play a greater role in the economy.
“Growing our SME loan portfolio remains
one of the objectives of the bank’s retail banking division,” said Irakli
Gilauri, Bank of Georgia CEO. “This partnership will allow Bank
of Georgia to extend financing to women entrepreneurs who play a vital
role in the development of the country’s SME sector and will help create
more job opportunities in the Georgian economy.”
Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager,
South Caucasus, said, “This agreement will help small and medium enterprises
in Georgia continue to expand and modernize. Women-owned businesses represent
an untapped market for financial institutions and this project will encourage
lending to women entrepreneurs, helping improve the lives of a wide section
IFC supports female entrepreneurship
as an important part of its mission to foster sustainable private sector
growth in developing countries. IFC works with financial institutions to
expand financial services to women entrepreneurs through specialized credit
lines, market analyses, and capacity building. IFC launched its Banking
on Women program in Europe and Central Asia in 2011 to support lending
to women through financial intermediaries.
IFC is a shareholder of Bank of Georgia
Holdings, Bank of Georgia’s UK-incorporated holding company, which took
a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange on February 28, 2012.
Georgia has been a member of IFC since
1995. IFC’s cumulative investments in the country to date total $660 million
in 42 projects across various sectors. IFC Advisory Services projects in
Georgia focus on reforming the tax system to benefit small businesses,
helping raise food safety standards, and strengthening the risk-management
practices of banks.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth
by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and
governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets.
In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our
clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute
to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time
high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Bank of Georgia
JSC Bank of Georgia is the country’s
leading lender based on total assets (with a 34% market share), total loans
(with a 35% market share), and client deposits (with a 34% market share).
The bank offers a broad range of corporate banking, retail banking, wealth
management, brokerage and insurance services to its clients. Bank of Georgia’s
UK-incorporated holding company, Bank of Georgia Holdings, is listed on
the main market of the London Stock Exchange. For more information, visit