WASHINGTON, D.C., July 15, 1998 --- The International
Finance Corporation today signed agreements to invest US$10 million in
Banc Post S.A., a commercial bank that is slated to become Romania’s first
state-owned bank to be privatized. Banc Post was created in 1991 to take
over the Romanian Postal System’s banking and payment transactions. The
privatization should encourage modernization of the Romanian banking system.
IFC agreed to make a subordinated convertible loan of US$10 million to
finance the expansion of the bank’s network of branches and automatic
teller machines and to modernize its information technology systems. IFC’s
investment will help prepare Banc Post for privatization and strengthen
its operating capacity. The loan will be convertible into equity of the
bank when it is privatized.
The President of Romania Dr. Emil Constantinescu, and Mr. James D. Wolfensohn,
President of the World Bank Group, attended the signing in Washington.
"IFC’s investment supports the Romanian government’s efforts to
revitalize the banking sector through privatization and restructuring,"
Mr. Wolfensohn said. "IFC’s presence is expected to expand the universe
of interested bidders for Banc Post and facilitate its privatization."
IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters economic growth in the emerging
markets by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in
the international financial markets and providing technical assistance
and advice to governments and businesses.