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IFC Financing to Azel to Help Expand Azerbaijan’s Consumer Electronics Sector


In Washington, D.C.:
Carmen Powell
Phone: +1 (202) 473-4982
Email:
cpowell@ifc.org

In Belgrade
:
Slobodan Brkic
Phone: +(381) 11 3023 750
Email:
sbrkic@ifc.org


Baku, Azerbaijan, August 15, 2007—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement to provide a long-term financing package to Azerbaijan Electronics JSC, known as Azel. The investment will help the company expand its consumer electronics operations and broaden its technology services to meet the growing demand from corporate clients and individual consumers.

The investment underscores IFC’s strategy in Azerbaijan to support small and medium businesses, as well as its commitment to contribute to private sector development in the region. Azel, the country’s leading systems integration provider, plans to use IFC’s $2.7 million investment for multiple purposes, including the purchase and renovation of a headquarters facility in Baku and the addition of two new stores to its retail network.

“IFC’s investment will enable us to continue providing top quality IT services to our corporate and retail customers under a new and stimulating business environment,” said Igor Yakovenko, President of Azel  “We see our partnership as a long-term relationship that would groom us to be a regional leader in the sector” he added.

“One of the main pillars of our strategy in Azerbaijan is to foster sustainable growth of the private sector with a special focus on small and medium businesses across various sectors. Emerging, dynamic private entrepreneurs and diversification into non-oil related sectors are important to sustain Azerbaijan’s economic development,” said Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC Director for Southern Europe and Central Asia.

“Azel’s growth will  elevate the entire electronics retailing sector to more modern standards,” said Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Director for Global Manufacturing and Services. “With our help, the company will also focus on improving its corporate governance practices.”

About IFC:

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing capital in the international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY06, IFC committed $8.3 billion, including loan participations, to 284 investments in 66 developing countries. For more information, please visit
www.ifc.org.

About Azerbaijan Electronics JSC:

Azerbaijan Electronics JSC (Azel) is one of the most successful information technology systems integration companies and computer and electronic product suppliers in Azerbaijan.  The company’s main clientele is Azerbaijan’s corporate sector. Its main lines of business include information technology, computers and systems assembly, electronic goods retail.  service, software development, and computer assembly.