February 2, 2006, Baku—IFC’s Azerbaijan
Corporate Governance Project has launched its pilot program for local Azeri
firms with the selection of its first company, Azerigazbank. Azerigazbank
is a long-standing IFC partner: it has received two IFC SME credit lines,
for a total of $1.6 million, as well as advisory assistance that helped
the bank improve its policies and procedures, including credit assessment
and portfolio monitoring, while creating a sustainable SME financing function.
IFC’s Corporate Governance Project will now work in close cooperation
with Azerigazbank to revise its corporate documents and improve its governance
standards, bringing these into line with worldwide best practice.
“We are pleased to start our pilot program with Azerigazbank,” said Charles
Canfield, Manager of the IFC Corporate Governance Project in Azerbaijan.
“The bank has demonstrated a strong commitment to improve its corporate
governance practices further, and we strongly believe that our cooperation
will make the bank an exemplary corporate citizen in Azerbaijan.”
“The fact that IFC selected Azerigazbank as a pilot company for upgrading
corporate governance r a high appraisal of Azerigazbank’s activity om
recent years,” noted Chingiz Asadullayev, Chairman of the Supervisory
Board at Azerigazbank.
IFC’s Corporate Governance Project launched its pilot program in order
to provide in-depth technical assistance to a select number of Azerbaijan’s
joint-stock companies and banks that are interested in improving their
corporate governance practices.
For the editor:
The Azerbaijan Corporate Governance
Project is implemented by IFC with financial support from the State Secretariat
for Economic Affairs of Switzerland (seco).
The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the
World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. IFC coordinates
its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but
is legally and financially independent. 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
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs is the Swiss Confederation's
competence center for issues related to the economic policy. Its aim is
to create the basic regulatory and economic policy conditions to enable
business to flourish for the benefit of all. It represents Switzerland
in large multilateral trade organizations and international negotiations.
It is also involved in efforts to reduce poverty and help developing countries
with transition economies build sustainable democratic societies and viable
market economies. Each year Switzerland spends approximately 1.9 billion
francs on development cooperation and transition assistance to countries.