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IFC and Center-Invest Bank Expand Access to Finance for Small Businesses in Southern Russia


In Moscow:
Nezhdana Bukova
Phone: 7 (495) 411 7555
E-mail: NBukova@ifc.org

Moscow, Russia, March 19, 2014—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will provide a loan of 600 million Russian rubles ($16.5 million) to Center-Invest Bank to help it expand access to finance for small and medium enterprises in the agribusiness sector in southern Russia.



IFC’s loan will help the bank increase lending to smaller businesses in less-developed frontier regions, with a specific focus on agribusiness, helping create jobs and diversify the local economy. This new financing builds on the long-term partnership between IFC and Center-Invest Bank that began in 2002.

Vasily Vysokov, Chairman of Center-Invest Bank, said: “We are grateful for IFC’s long-term financial support and valuable advice, which helps us extend much-needed finance to agribusiness companies. We look forward to further successful cooperation with IFC.”

Since 2002, IFC has provided Center-Invest Bank with about $70 million in debt finance. IFC has also provided the lender with a host of targeted advisory services that helped the bank launch several pioneering financial products focused on energy efficiency.  
 
Tomasz Telma, IFC Director for Europe and Central Asia, said: “Long-term partnerships with regional banks such as Center-Invest Bank allow us to channel finance to small and medium sized enterprises and contribute to the creation of jobs and the diversification of local economies in Russia’s regions.”

Russia became a member and shareholder of IFC in 1993. Since then, IFC has invested more than $11 billion in the country, including $3.3 billion in syndicated loans and other forms of mobilizations, and has been involved in 294 projects across a variety of sectors. IFC’s investment portfolio in Russia stands at $2.2 billion.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
 
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About Center-Invest Bank
Center-Invest Bank is the largest private bank in southern Russia, with 140 offices in the region. It has a rating of Ba3+ from Moody’s and 18 years of IFRS reporting. The largest shareholders are EBRD (27.5 percent) and DEG (22.5 percent), along with Erste Bank (9.8 percent) and the Vysokov family (17 percent). Its sustainable banking business model focuses on SMEs, women in business, start-ups, young entrepreneurs, and energy efficiency. For more information, visit: www.centrinvest.ru/en.