Sofia, Bulgaria, March 1, 2012—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and Postbank (Eurobank EFG Group) signed
an agreement under IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program to increase the
availability of financing to help Bulgarian exporters and importers enter
new markets and increase trade ties across Eastern Europe and other markets.
Under the agreement, IFC will extend a trade
credit line of $20 million to Postbank, Eurobank EFG’s subsidiary in Bulgaria.
The credit line will help the bank grow its trade finance business and
offer an expanded range of trade-related products to its small and medium
enterprise and corporate customers.
Businesses in Bulgaria rely on financing
to export iron, steel, garments, textiles, and agricultural products to
customers across Europe, and import energy commodities, metallurgical equipment,
automobiles and other consumer products. Postbank’s participation in IFC’s
Global Trade Finance Program, or GTFP, will enable firms to expand Bulgaria’s
regional trade flows, spurring economic development and job creation.
“We are very pleased to be extending our
multifaceted cooperation with IFC to support small and medium enterprises
and regional trade in Southeastern Europe,” said Giorgio Pradelli, General
Manager of Eurobank EFG Group and Head of International Activities. “Joining
IFC’s GTFP will augment Postbank’s capacity to deliver trade finance
solutions to its clients in Bulgaria, increase their access to new markets,
and support the development of the Bulgarian economy.”
Georgina Baker, IFC Director of Global Trade
and Supply Chain Solutions, said, “IFC will help Postbank forge new relationships
with global banks and deepen the financial sector in Bulgaria. Increased
access to trade financing will help local businesses grow, create jobs,
and expand economic opportunities.”
Since its inception in 2005, IFC’s award-winning
GTFP has issued more than 11,000 guarantees totaling $15.8 billion to banks
on trade-related payment obligations of its financial institution clients
in emerging markets. Most significantly, in fiscal year 2011, 53 percent
of the total volume was to support trade in the world’s poorest countries,
and 79 percent went to SMEs. The program includes more than 200 partner
banks in over 90 emerging-market countries.
Postbank, Eurobank EFG’s subsidiary in Bulgaria,
is a leading Bulgarian bank that provides corporate, small and medium enterprise,
and individual clients with a comprehensive package of timely products
and services to meet their needs. It is a member of Eurobank EFG
Group, a European banking organization with total assets of €81.9 billion
as of June 30, 2011. The Group employs more than 22,500 people and offers
its products and services both through its network of 1,600 branches and
points of sale and through alternative distribution channels across 10
countries. For more information, visit www.eurobank.gr.
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.