TODAY.AZ / Business

IFC extends trade finance line to AGBank

16 June 2006 [14:43] - TODAY.AZ
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement to purchase up to a 17.5 percent stake in AGBank and to extend a $1 million trade finance line.

Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC's Director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, noted, "One of our main objectives in Azerbaijan is to help strengthen private financial institutions like AGBank. The IFC investment and trade finance line will assist in the development of the emerging MSME sector in Azerbaijan by increasing the availability of quality banking services and credit to micro, small, and medium enterprises."

The IFC investment will provide much needed equity capital to AGBank, supporting its rapid growth due to a steady rise in demand for quality banking services and term credit. The investment will strengthen the bank's balance sheet, and the trade finance line will facilitate the company's trade finance activities in one of the fastest-growing economies.

Jyrki Koskelo, IFC's Director for Global Financial Markets, added, "IFC has had a strong institution-building role in the development of Azerbaijan's financial markets. IFC's equity investment in AGBank, combined with technical assistance will help deepen, strengthen, and diversify the local financial sector."

Chingiz Asadullayev, the Chairman of AGBank Supervisory Board, commented, "We are pleased to take an almost decade-long relationship to the next level with IFC becoming a shareholder. The confidence IFC has placed in us demonstrates the strong position of AGBank, allowing us to expand and to support our growing and young economy. We look forward to continuing and strengthening our partnership with IFC."

The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent. Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

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