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IFC’s Azerbaijan Corporate Governance Project Launches Pilot Company Program


In Baku
Rasmina Gurbatova
IFC Azerbaijan Corporate Governance Project
Tel: (+99412) 497 - 8981
E-mail: RGurbatova@ifc.org


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.