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IFC Invests a Record $4.2 Billion in Europe & Central Asia in FY12 to Support Economic Growth

Monday, July 16
Tbilisi, Georgia, July 13, 2012 — During fiscal year 2012, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, supported the private sector in Europe and Central Asia by investing a record $4.2 billion in 114 projects; advising banks on risk and nonperforming asset management; and advising companies on sustainable business practices and public-private partnerships.

IFC channeled about 55 percent of its total commitments in Europe and Central Asia to the financial sector, expanding access to finance for businesses and individuals, with a focus on underserved countries and regions. Some $1.3 billion of IFC’s commitments were mobilized from international and regional commercial banks, despite the economic uncertainty in European financial markets affecting much of the region, constraining credit and limiting investment.

Tomasz Telma, IFC Director for Europe and Central Asia, said, “IFC continued to play a countercyclical role in Europe and Central Asia in fiscal 2012 by supporting inclusive and sustainable private sector growth, with a focus on access to finance, agribusiness, infrastructure, and climate change-related projects.”

Highlights of IFC’s results in the region for FY12, which ended on June 30:

• IFC invested a record $2.3 billion in 72 financial-market projects, complemented by advisory services focused on corporate governance and risk management, helping expand access to finance for micro, small, and medium companies.
• IFC’s trade finance program provided a record $926 million of guarantees facilitating cross-border trade and economic ties.
• IFC invested more than $1 billion in 46 projects targeting micro, small, and medium enterprises.
• IFC’s investments targeting the region’s poorest countries totaled $265 million in 26 projects.
• IFC supported five South-South investments among emerging markets totaling $287 million in financing.
• IFC invested $854 million in 18 projects in infrastructure and natural-resources sectors, including railway and information technology in Russia; renewable energy in Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania; and a port terminal in Ukraine.
• IFC invested more than $1 billion in 25 projects in manufacturing, agribusiness, and services sectors—supporting agribusiness in Georgia, Serbia, and Ukraine; aluminum products manufacturer in Belarus; and health-care providers in Russia and Turkey.
• IFC continued to advise banks on better risk and asset management and financing climate-friendly projects; manufacturing companies on sustainable business practices, resource, and energy efficiency; and governments on improving investment climate and structuring public-private partnerships through 105 advisory projects.
• IFC’s regional advisory programs for cleaner production, renewable energy, and energy efficiency helped private sector companies avoid about 700,000 tons of emissions of carbon dioxide.
• IFC Advisory Services targeting agribusiness continued to provide training and advice to government inspectors and food producers on international best practices in food safety, helping improve competitiveness of local food processors.
• IFC Advisory Services supported governments in reforming business inspections, permits, and tax-administration systems, contributing to more than 400 legislative acts to improve the business climate within the region.
• During the fiscal year ending June 30, IFC committed about $93 million in Georgia and mobilized additional $25 million from other lenders. We continued helping our partner banks - Bank of Georgia, TBC Bank, and Bank Republic - to finance the foreign trade transactions of local companies, boosting foreign trade. We also supported the leading Georgian wine producer and exporter, Tbilvino, creating employment opportunities in rural areas and benefitting small farmers. IFC advisory services projects continued to focus on reforming the tax system to benefit small businesses, raising food safety standards and strengthening the risk-management practices of banks.

In FY13, IFC will continue to support the diversification of economies, ensuring access to basic goods and services and expanding efforts to counteract climate change. By focusing on the poorest countries and regions, IFC aims to create opportunity where it’s needed most.