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IFC, Russia Move to Create Fund to Boost Economy in Russian Regions


IFC, Moscow
Nezhdana Bukova

Phone: + 7 495 411 3986

E-mail:
NBukova@ifc.org

Ministry of Finance of Russian Federation

Andrey Matveev
Phone: +7 (495) 987 94 15


E-mail:
matveev@minfin.ru

Vnesheconombank
Ekaterina Karasina
Phone: +7 (495) 608 4693
E-mail:
press@veb.ru


Moscow, Russia, June 17, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the Russian Federation, and state-owned development bank Vnesheconombank today agreed to work together to create the Russian Bank Opportunity Fund. The fund will provide much-needed capital for banks in regions of Russia to finance small and medium enterprises, creating opportunities for businesses.

Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, and Alexei Kudrin, Deputy Chairman of the Government - Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation, signed an agreement under which Russia committed to invest $50 million to the fund. Vnesheconombank, represented by Vladimir Dmitriev, Chairman of Vnesheconombank, and IFC signed a separate memorandum of understanding through which the bank is considering investing up to $250 million toward the fund. IFC will invest up to $250 million of its own funds.

“The Russian banking system is gradually recovering from the global financial crisis,” said Kudrin. “Today, we took a first step toward creating a specialized fund that will enable local banks to become catalysts of economic development by financing companies operating in non-financial sectors of the local economy, particularly small and medium enterprises.”

Vnesheconombank’s Dmitriev said, “The fund is to become an effective instrument for financing the real sector of the Russian economy, as well as small and medium enterprises. We are happy to support the initiative and unite our efforts and resources to create an instrument for increasing the capital of Russian banks. For most of the country’s regional banks, long-term investments are still difficult to access, which, in its turn, narrows the banks’ capabilities for financing enterprises of the real economy.”

IFC’s Thunell said, “IFC aims to develop the private sector and create financial opportunities for small and medium companies wherever they are needed most—especially in remote and frontier regions. Our global experience and financial resources, combined with those of Russia and institutional investors, will help diversify the economy and strengthen the financial system in remote areas.”

About IFC
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.

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About Vnesheconombank
Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank) was established in 2007 by means of reorganization of the Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of the USSR (Vnesheconombank of the USSR).
Vnesheconombank is viewed as a key instrument for implementing the state economic policy that is primarily focused on removing infrastructure restrictions on economic growth, enhancing the efficiency of natural resources utilization, developing high-tech industries, unleashing innovative and industrial potential of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as ensuring support for exports of industrial production and services.
Vnesheconombank participates in implementing projects that are of priority importance for the development of Russia’s economy, but in view of their large-scale character, complexity and long payback periods experience resource shortage coming from the private sector. For more information, visit
www.veb.ru