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IFC Trade Finance Program Expands to Ukraine, Improving Access to Finance for Corporate Clients and Smaller Enterprises


In Washington D.C.:
Irina Likhachova
Phone: +1 202 473 1813
E-mail:
ilikhachova@ifc.org

In Kyiv:
Larissa Shidlovskaya
Phone: + 380 44 490 64 00
E-mail:
lshidlovskaya@ifc.org


Kyiv, Ukraine, May 8, 2008 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has announced that Raiffeisen Bank Aval is the first issuing bank in Ukraine to join the IFC Global Trade Finance Program. IFC’s $30 million trade finance line to the bank will support corporate clients and small and medium enterprises in the country.

The IFC Global Trade Finance Program supports entrepreneurs in countries where trade is restricted. It offers banks guarantees that enable them to issue trade finance to businesses.

Volodymyr Lavrenchuk, CEO of Raiffeisen Bank Aval, said, “Signing this agreement shows that despite the crisis in international markets, Raiffeisen Bank Aval remains a reliable partner, demonstrating dynamic growth and high performance. Our continuing cooperation with IFC will add value for the clients we are targeting.”

Georgina Baker, IFC Director for Global Financial Markets, said, “We are delighted to welcome Raiffeisen Bank to the Global Trade Finance Program. Through the participating banks, we are able to reach underserved markets and entrepreneurs that have limited access to finance.”

Elena Voloshina, Head of IFC Operations in Ukraine, said, “IFC’s partnership with Raiffeisen Bank began in 2004, and we continue to find new and innovative ways to work together.”

In 2007 the IFC Global Trade Finance Program doubled the volume of guarantees issued and the number of participating banks and countries covered. Launched in 2005, the program recently reached a milestone of $2 billion worth of guarantees issued, representing 2,500 individual trades. Today, over 200 banks can work with one another to facilitate trade flows between challenging markets. The program continues to benefit entrepreneurs, with 50 percent of the guarantees issued supporting trade in the poorest countries.

IFC also provides advisory services and training that helps banks build capacity and improve trade operations. The program has reached more than 170 banks through training courses in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago.

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 people should 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 syndications 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.

Ukraine became a shareholder and a member of IFC in 1993. As of March 31, 2008, IFC had invested around $887 million in 38 projects in the country. IFC’s investment program is expanding rapidly, with a focus on Ukraine’s financial, agribusiness, construction materials, retail trade and services, energy, and infrastructure sectors.  IFC also offers advisory programs in Ukraine on leasing, agribusiness, mortgage finance, and improving the business environment. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org/ukraine.

About Raiffeisen Bank Aval
Raiffeisen Bank Aval, founded in March 1992, is one of the largest Ukrainian banks. As of January 2008, its capital amounted to 5.2 billion hryvnias, with net assets of 44.5 billion hryvnias and a loan and investment portfolio of 37.6 billion hryvnias. Raiffeisen Bank Aval’s network comprises some 1,180 branches throughout Ukraine. It is a subsidiary of Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG, a part of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group that acts as the steering company for one of the largest banking networks in Central and Eastern Europe. For more information, visit www.
aval.ua/eng.

Raiffeisen Bank Aval
Leonid Zyabrev
Head of PR and Internal Communications Service
Phone: +380 44 490 89 95
E-mail:
leonid.zyabrev@aval.ua