Press Releases

IFC Partners with Bank Constanta to Strengthen Risk Management Capacity in Georgia

In Tbilisi:
Tamar Barbakadze, IFC

Phone: +995 32 23 43 00


Nana Chkhikvadze, Bank Constanta

Phone: +995 32 401 401

Tbilisi, Georgia, October 19, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will work with Bank Constanta to improve its risk management practices, which will help the bank increase lending to smaller businesses in Georgia. This initiative is part of a broader IFC strategy to strengthen local banks in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Bank Constanta is a new commercial bank that evolved from a leading microfinance organization with more than 10 years’ experience in Georgia. Experts from the IFC Financial Crisis Response Program in Europe and Central Asia will train the bank’s staff on best practices in risk management as well as help with prioritizing their operations. These efforts will help the bank become more profitable and increase its lending to companies.

“Our cooperation with IFC will help us strengthen our business and increase profitability,” said Levan Lebanidze, Bank Constanta Director, after signing a cooperation agreement. “IFC will help us analyze and improve our existing portfolio and adjust our strategy to the changing environment.”

Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Head, Caucasus, said, “Constanta is the first Georgian bank to join IFC’s regional Financial Crisis Response Program. We are working with financial institutions across the region to strengthen their risk management capabilities. Our long-term objective is to help banks emerge from the crisis with enhanced risk management framework and capabilities to protect them from future crises.”

IFC’s Financial Crisis Response Program in Europe and Central Asia was launched in 2009, in partnership with the Austrian Ministry of Finance. The program has delivered training to over 1,000 senior and middle-level banking professionals, disseminating good practice on risk management and how to deal with distressed assets. IFC experts are also working on legislation to help create a transparent and working market for distressed assets to facilitate the post-crisis recovery in the region.

Georgia became a member of IFC in 1995. IFC’s cumulative investments in Georgia since then total nearly $500 million in 35 projects across a variety of sectors. Through its advisory services, IFC is working toward reforming the country’s tax system to benefit small businesses, while helping companies improve corporate governance practices and raise food safety standards. Bank Constanta has been an IFC client through the IFC Georgia Corporate Governance Project.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit

About Bank
Bank Constanta joined Georgian commercial banks in July 2008 and became the first Georgian microfinance organization to convert into a bank. The company has successfully operated in the Georgian financial market since 1997, providing services to small and micro businesses through 21 outlets across Georgia. Bank Constanta partners with a number of international donors and financial organizations. In September 2010, the first foreign shareholder, Oikocredit, joined the bank as shareholder. Bank Constanta serves nearly 15,000 clients and its credit portfolio exceeds $35 million. For more information, visit

For more information about the Austrian Ministry of Finance, visit