WASHINGTON, D.C., June 24—On Monday, June
23, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) signed a loan agreement
in Almaty, Kazakstan, to provide a US$30 million credit facility to Kazkommertsbank,
one of Kazakstan's largest private commercial banks. The credit line will
be used to provide loans to private businesses — including small and medium
enterprises to finance their expansion and modernization and to produce
and export Kazak products.
The IFC credit facility will consist of a US$10 million loan for IFC's
own account and an additional US$20 million loan syndicated with international
Kazkommertsbank, which was established in 1992, is expected to target investments
in sectors such as manufacturing, construction, transport, services and
resource-based industries. The bank specializes in providing trade finance
and related services to primarily export-oriented companies and has recently
begun to develop its project finance operations.
"This is IFC's first loan to a domestic Kazak bank," said Mr.
Andr, Hovaguimian, Director of IFC's Central Asia, Middle East and North
Africa Department. "The line of credit is designed to help privately-owned
Kazak enterprises to replace or modernize plants and equipment or expand
their scale of operations. The restructuring of the Kazak banking sector
is a critical component of Kazakstan's economic reforms and this loan will
also help the sector play an effective role in the development of the country.
IFC expects that the example set by Kazkommertsbank's progress to international
standards will reinforce the efforts of other Kazak banks in this direction."
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral source
of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing
and emerging economies.