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IFC Partners with Ardshininvestbank to Improve Access to SME and Housing Finance in Armenia


In Moscow:
Nezhdana Bukova
Tel.: + 7 (495) 411 7555 ext 2026
E-mail: nbukova@ifc.org

In Washington:
Lotte Pang
Tel.: +1 (202) 758 4290
E-mail: lpang@ifc.org

Yerevan, December 10, 2007—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today that it will partner with Ardshininvestbank, a leading bank in Armenia, to increase access to housing finance and lending to small and medium enterprises in the country. IFC will provide $10 million in equity and a $15 million long-term financing package to the bank.  

This investment supports IFC’s strategy in Armenia, which focuses on improving the lives of low-income people and increasing access to finance for affordable housing. To help achieve this goal, IFC works with financial intermediaries in the country and provides advisory services.

Karen Safaryan, Chairman of Ardshininvestbank’s Board of Directors, said, “Working with IFC is an important step in our development. This will help us expand, improve operations, and offer new products and services to our clients.  We look forward to a long-term partnership that will combine IFC’s strong international banking experience with our local expertise.”

Jerome Sooklal, IFC Director for Central and Eastern Europe, said, “Through this investment in Ardshininvestbank, one of Armenia’s largest banks with an extensive branch network, IFC can make a significant impact on the development of the entire Armenian financial sector. We are pleased to help the bank expand its funding base and increase its ability to finance underserved markets, such as housing finance and SMEs.”

About IFC
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 poor people 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 loan participations 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.

About Ardshininvestbank CJSC
Founded in 2003, Ardshininvestbank is one of the largest and most successful banks in Armenia. Based on the audited financial report as of September 30, 2007, Ardshininvestbank is the leading bank in the country in terms of credit portfolio and profitability, with a net profit of about $8.9 million. Its total assets reached nearly $250 million, and its equity reached about $43 million.  The bank is universal and has one of the country’s largest branch networks, with 51 branches and an office in Paris. It offers a wide range of financial products to its clients. For more information, visit
www.ashib.am.