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
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.
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.
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