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IFC and Canada Help Expand Lending to Small Businesses, Boost Sustainable Energy Finance in Azerbaijan

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 10, 2013— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, with the support of the Government of Canada, is helping Bank Respublika expand its lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), boost the sustainable energy sector, and create jobs in Azerbaijan.
IFC will provide Bank Respublika with a loan of $15 million, to expand its lending to SMEs involved in sustainable energy in Azerbaijan, help create jobs, and support economic development. The loan includes $1 million from the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program. This is IFC’s first sustainable energy investment in Azerbaijan, which is expected to encourage private sector investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
“IFC’s support will enable us to expand existing products and offer new ones to our clients,” said Chairperson of the Executive Board of Bank Respublika, Khadija Hasanova. “We plan to increase financing of SMEs, including those who are willing to upgrade to more efficient equipment but have limited resources.”
The investment is possible thanks to the Government of Canada's instrumental contribution, which has helped to make the package viable.
“Through this project, the Government of Canada is helping leverage private sector investments aimed at advancing sustainable energy projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Canada’s Environment Minister, the Hon. Peter Kent.
Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for the South Caucasus, said: “This transaction, designed to help smaller enterprises get better access to finance, is part of IFC’s strategy in Azerbaijan to support growth in the non-oil sector.  The financing is also expected to send a positive signal to other commercial lenders, attracting investors to sustainable energy finance in Azerbaijan.”
Azerbaijan became a member of IFC in 1995. Since then IFC has invested almost $393 million and mobilized nearly $73 million from other lenders in 67 projects in financial services, infrastructure, and manufacturing. IFC has also implemented advisory projects focused on private sector development. In addition, the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan has committed $350 million to three funds managed by IFC Asset Management Company, which invests alongside IFC in private sector projects in emerging markets.
About the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program
The IFC-Canada Climate Change Program promotes private sector financing for clean energy projects. Canada’s financing to IFC for this program is part of its overall fast-start financing contribution for 2010–2011. Under the Copenhagen Accord, developed countries committed to provide fast-start financing of almost $30 billion for 2010–2012 to support climate-change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. As part of Canada’s commitment to support climate change action in developing countries, Canada is contributing $1.2 billion Canadian dollars in new and additional climate-change financing over three years (fiscals 2010–2013).
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit .
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