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IFC Expands Access to Finance for Smaller Enterprises and Agribusiness in Romania


In Washington, D.C.:
Lotte Pang
Phone: +1 202 758 4290
E-mail: LPang@ifc.org

In Belgrade:
Slobodan Brkic
Phone: +381 11 3023 750
E-mail: SBrkic@ifc.org


Bucharest, Romania, November 27, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today it will provide a local-currency loan equivalent to up to €10 million to ATE Bank Romania S.A., enabling the bank to extend loans to micro, small, and medium enterprises, with a particular focus on the country’s agribusiness sector.

The global liquidity crisis has hindered access to finance for many MSMEs around the world. IFC’s seven-year senior loan is designed to provide local currency term funding to ATE for on-lending to MSMEs and agribusiness sectors in Romania. The bank expects to provide more than $400 million to MSME clients through 8,000 loans, and more than $70 million to agribusiness clients through 680 loans, by the end of 2013.

“We are pleased to consolidate our strategic relationship with IFC through this transaction,” said Sergiu Manea, General Manager of the ATE Bank Romania S.A. “With IFC’s loan we shall be able to increase our support to MSMEs, confirming our traditional commitment to them, and start playing an important role in agribusiness financing in Romania.”

Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC Director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, said, “ATE Bank is a key partner for IFC in addressing the financing needs of Romanian MSMEs. IFC invested in the equity of the bank in 2008, and through this new partnership ATE has become IFC’s first conduit to scale up financing for agribusiness in Romania. IFC is pleased to be able to offer this loan to ATE and provide the continued support to the bank under the current difficult conditions in international financial markets.”

ATE Bank Romania S.A. is a small niche bank with $330.3 million in assets and shareholders’ equity of $93.9 million as of September 30, 2008. The bank has traditionally played an active role in providing financial services to Romanian MSMEs. Leveraging IFC’s broad expertise in lending to agribusinesses, the bank is now entering the agribusiness sector in Romania.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

About ATE Bank
ATE Bank Romania S.A. was incorporated in Romania in 1990 as the Bank for Small Industry and Free Enterprise, Mindbank. In August 2006, the bank’s majority shareholder became ATE Bank Greece S.A., a leading bank in Greece. ATE Bank is a small bank that provides a wide range of products and services mainly to micro, small, and medium enterprises and—more recently—to individuals. The bank serves its clients through a network of 30 branches in the main cities of Romania. It employs 334 people. For more information, visit www.atebank.ro