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IFC Partners with Georgia’s Bank Constanta to Increase Lending to Small Businesses


In Tbilisi:
Tamar Barbakadze, IFC        
Phone: +995 32 223 43 00/01/02
E-mail: TBarbakadze@ifc.org

Nana Chkhikvadze, Bank Constanta
Phone: +995 32 2401 401
E-mail: nana.chkhikvadze@constanta.ge

Tbilisi, Georgia, February 2, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will help Bank Constanta expand financial services to small and medium enterprises in Georgia, boosting economic growth and employment.

IFC, as a global knowledge leader in small and medium enterprise banking, will advise Bank Constanta on the development of new financial products and services focused on the needs of Georgia’s small and medium businesses. IFC will also help the bank create the necessary risk assessment tools that will support the rollout of new products and services.

"The small and medium business sector remains the target segment for Bank Constanta,” said Levan Lebanidze, CEO of Bank Constanta. “We began to provide financial services to small and medium enterprises in 1997 as a microfinance institution, and continued to increase lending to this sector after transforming into a bank. As a result of our cooperation with IFC, Bank Constanta will be able to offer advanced financial services to its customers in this sector.”    

Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Head for the Caucasus, said, “Small and medium enterprises spur employment and are the key drivers of economic growth in the region. IFC is committed to helping these businesses access finance, and our partnership with Bank Constanta will aid in accomplishing that.”  

The initiative is part of the IFC SME Banking Advisory Program, which provides advisory services to help banks in building a sustainable and profitable business of servicing small and medium enterprises in Europe and Central Asia. The program is supported with funds from the Development Bank of Austria.

Bank Constanta has been a client of the IFC Georgia Corporate Governance Project and the IFC Financial Crisis Response Program.  

Georgia has been a member of IFC since 1995. IFC’s cumulative investments in the country to date total $561 million in 40 projects across various sectors. IFC advisory services projects in Georgia focus on reforming the tax system to benefit small businesses, helping raise food safety standards, and strengthening the risk-management practices of banks.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

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About Bank Constanta
Bank Constanta joined the ranks of Georgian commercial banks in July 2008, becoming the first Georgian microfinance organization to convert into a bank. The company has operated in the Georgian financial market since 1997, providing services to small and micro businesses through 25 outlets across the country. Bank Constanta  obtained new shareholders in 2010 and 2011 -Oikocredit (13%), an international investor, and TBC Bank (80%), one of the leading banks in Georgia. Today, Bank Constanta serves nearly 30,000 clients and its credit portfolio exceeds $70 million. For more information, visit www.bankconstanta.ge

For more information about the Development Bank of Austria, visit: www.oe-eb.at