The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of theWorld Bank Group, today signed an agreement with RaiffeisenInternational Bank-Holding A.G., to provide capital to supportRaiffeisen’s expanding banking network in Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe. IFC’s investment takes the form of loans to Raiffeisen subsidiaries in Belarus, Russia, and Serbia.
“IFC’s partnership with the Raiffeisen group dates back to 1987, when the group set up operations in Hungary. Since then, IFC has supported Raiffeisen in the creation of an extensive banking and finance company network in the region, from Hungary to Belarus, Bosnia, and Russia. We are pleased to see the company extend its network of banks and finance companies to 15 countries, where they are leading players in their respective local markets. We are proud to be a shareholder of Raiffeisen International,” said Edward Nassim, IFC’s directorfor Central and Eastern Europe.
Herbert Stepic, chairman of the board of management of RaiffeisenInternational, said,“We welcome and appreciate the continued support of IFC, our long-time partner in many earlier projects. The outlook for growth and profits in the region continues to be excellent, and we are well positioned to meet the challenges in all of our key markets. We will continue to grow rapidly across the region.”
Khosrow Zamani, IFC’s director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, added, “Raiffeisen’s growth supports a critical mission for IFC, in bringing international standards and excellent banking services and products to corporate and retail customers in the region, and in helping spur the growth of small and medium businesses and mortgage financing by making long-term credit available.”
Mr. Stepic added,“With the loan facilities from IFC, we are even better able to provide competitive financing, especially to smaller enterprises, as they are the backbone of any economy. Their development is particularly important to strengthen economies further, particularly in Belarus, Russia, and Serbia.”
Raiffeisen International, a recently-listed company at the Vienna StockExchange, is 70 percent owned by Raiffeisen Zentralbank ?sterreich AG(RZB). RZB is the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen BankingGroup, the country’s leading banking group. RZB also considers Central and Eastern Europe part of its home market. Through Raffeisen International, it operates a network of 15 subsidiary banks and 14 leasing companies. Combined, these have about 950 business outlets, serving more than 5million customers in 16 markets across the region.
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable privatesector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty andimprove people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.
For further information regarding the IFC please contact Georg Schmidtin Washington
(+1-202) 458 2934,GSchmidt@ifc.org).
We will be pleased to send you photographs of the signing ceremony uponrequest.