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IFC Supports Small and Medium Enterprises in Moldova


Alla Grju                
E-mail:  
agirjau@ifc.org

Phone:  (373-2) 232-737
Fax :  (373-2) 233-908

Afshin Molavi

E-mail:  amolavi@ifc.org

Phone:  (202) 458-5674

Fax:  (202) 974-4384


Chisinau, Moldova, September 7, 2001─The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement to provide a US$4 million credit line to Banca Comerciala Victoriabank SA (Victoriabank), one of the leading banks in Moldova, for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

The IFC investment will support the development of Moldova’s SME sector, which suffers from a lack of available financing for investment and working capital.  IFC has played an active role in Moldova since the country became a member in 1995.  Since then, IFC has approved approximately $84 million in financing for seven investments in power, telecommunications, agribusiness, and the financial sector as well as technical assistance projects in banking, tourism, wineries, food processing, and leather industries.


Mr. Khosrow Zamani, Director of IFC’s Southern Europe and Central Asia Department, who signed the loan agreement in Chisinau, said that the development of the SME sector is crucial for the Moldovan economy.  “The support of SMEs through sound financial intermediaries is a key component of IFC’s strategy in the country,” he said. “Moldova has faced difficult economic times over the past ten years, but it is encouraging to see positive signs of economic growth this year.  IFC is pleased to contribute to the sustainable development of the Moldovan economy through this credit line for SMEs,” he added.


Mr. Victor Turcanu, Chairman of the Administrative Council of Victoriabank, expressed his confidence that the credit line marks a first step in the cooperation between Victoriabank and IFC.  He also noted that the bank continues to seek ways to strengthen its cooperation with international financial institutions.


Victoriabank was established in 1989 as one of the first private commercial banks. It is currently the second largest bank in Moldova.  In 1995, Victoriabank was reorganized with 60 percent of its shares held by foreign investors, such as Danube Fund, Alpha Bank Romania (a member of the Greek banking-financial Alpha Group), The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and others.  Victoriabank provides commercial as well as retail banking services in Moldova through its 10 branch locations across the country. Victoriabank was the first bank to issue international credit cards in Moldova and is the only bank in the country that is an associate member of VISA International and Europay/Master Card.


IFC’s mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives.  IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.  Since its founding in 1956, IFC has committed more than $31 billion of its own funds and arranged $20 billion in syndications for 2,636 companies in 140 developing countries.  IFC’s committed portfolio at the end of FY01 was $14.3 billion.