Almaty, Kazakhstan, July 28, 2008─IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, has launched the Central Asia and Azerbaijan
Mortgage Lending Advisory Project, which focuses on serving the banking
sector in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. The objective
is to provide direct support to commercial banks in implementing or upgrading
their mortgage lending programs.
Banks in Azerbaijan and Central Asia have expressed a need for high-quality
direct support to develop their mortgage lending facilities and provide
a significant and immediate impact in the region, where housing finance
is not a tradition.
“This project will help create a foundation for long-term growth and security
in the local mortgage market through the transfer of best practices in
mortgage lending to local commercial banks. With the current market instability,
this is now more important than ever,” said Garth Bedford, IFC Project
The banking sectors in the four countries have different levels of experience
in mortgage lending. Kazakhstan is the most advanced, but Kazakh banks
realize the need for further improvements to ensure a high-quality portfolio
and lay the ground for future securitizations. Through the delivery of
advisory services, including support in product development and origination,
underwriting, and servicing procedures tailored to the needs of individual
banks, IFC will provide the means necessary for banks to begin implementing
these changes quickly.
“IFC has been working to develop the primary and secondary mortgage sectors
in Kazakhstan for the past three years. This project will continue advancing
this effort, helping banks in Kazakhstan and Central Asia create a mortgage
lending environment that is recognized in domestic and international markets
as secure and suitable to engage in,” said Rolf Behrndt, Senior Operations
Officer of IFC Advisory Services in Southern Europe and Central Asia.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth
in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing
private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing
advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's
vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and
improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized
an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance
for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory
services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.