Minsk, Belarus. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is joining Bank of Georgia in its effort to develop business in new markets and expand access to finance for small and medium enterprises in Belarus.
Bank of Georgia holds 99.96 percent equity interest in Belarusky Narodny Bank, a midsize Belarusian bank with strong focus on small and medium business finance. IFC will buy 19.9 percent of equity and provide a $5 million loan to Belarusky Narodny Bank, partnering with Bank of Georgia to expand business in the promising Belarus market.
"It is IFC's role to promote cross-border investments and thus contribute to development of regional economic tires and support local markets and companies," said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Head, Caucasus. "We look forward to this project's success, which will benefit the banking sectors of both Belarus and Georgia."
Irakli Gilauri, Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Georgia , said, "I am delighted that together with IFC we have completed these milestone transactions for BNB. IFC's participation as a shareholder and lender will undoubtedly increase BNB's competitiveness and provide invaluable support in the bank's development."
Bank of Georgia, Georgia's largest bank and an IFC client since 2000, is listed on the London Stock Exchange and also owns a bank in Ukraine .
Georgia became a shareholder and a member of IFC in 1995. Since then IFC has committed $460 million in 33 projects across a variety of sectors. Since 2003, IFC has implemented comprehensive advisory services programs to improve corporate governance and the business climate, particularly for small and medium enterprises, as well as a food safety improvement project.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totalled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Bank of Georgia
Bank of Georgia is the leading Georgian bank offering a broad range of corporate and investment banking, retail banking, wealth management and insurance services to its customers in Georgia, Ukraine , and Belarus. It is the largest bank in Georgia by assets, loans, deposits, and equity, with 34.8 percent market share by total assets (all data according to the NBG as of 30 April 2010). The bank has 137 branches and approximately 1 million retail and more than 157,000 corporate current accounts. For more information, visit www.bog.ge/ir.