Suhareke, Kosovo, July 27, 2010-
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a loan of up to €5.2
million to Newko Balkan LLC, a producer of rubber conveyer belts, which
will foster economic recovery and cross-border trade in Kosovo.
IFC’s investment in the company, owned by Turkish firm Ozer Konveyör Band
Turizm Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. (Ozerband), will help meet growing demand
in Turkey and Kosovo for the belts, which are used to transport bulk materials
like coal, minerals and cement. Newko Balkan is the only producer of rubber
conveyer belts in Kosovo. Total estimated project cost is €11.3 million.
“We are certain that our products will be in high demand in Turkey and
Kosovo and we hope to increase our market share in European markets as
well,” said Yusuf Ozer CEO of Ozerband.
Demand growth for rubber conveyor belts is highly correlated with the growth
of electric generation and consumption. While the demand for electricity
in Southeast Europe is expected to grow annually by 2.3 percent, the demand
in Kosovo and Turkey is expected to grow much faster in the coming years.
“This loan represents our first investment in Kosovo since its independence.
We hope to encourage other foreign investors to look at opportunities offered
by the country’s economy,” said Giovanni Danielle, IFC Resident Representative.
“We are pleased to support Ozerband and we are ready to look into other
south-south investments into Kosovo.”
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create
opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do
so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply
essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering
advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global
economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion
in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Ozerband, established in 1976, is the only rubber conveyor belt manufacturer
in Turkey. It is part of a family-owned and operated diversified industrial
group active in rubber conveyor belts, marble mining and processing, rubber
boots and shoes and tourism. In 2005, Ozerband purchased I.G.K. Balkan,
a state- owned entity established in 1963 to meet the rubber conveyor belt
needs of the former Yugoslavia and the former Soviet Republics. The company
subsequently was renamed Newko Balkan LLC. For more information, visit: