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IFC Supports Armenia’s Private Sector with Record Investments, Cutting-Edge Advisory Services

Yerevan, Armenia, July 25, 2012— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, supported private sector development in Armenia by investing a record $80 million in the country during the last fiscal year while advising companies in areas from energy efficiency to food safety.
IFC invested in six projects that helped local banks extend lending to smaller businesses and agricultural companies, key drivers of the Armenian economy. Other IFC projects focused on creating jobs, combating climate change and helping Armenian firms access international markets.
“In the last few years we have increased our support to Armenia to help address the consequences of the global economic crisis,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager, South Caucasus. “We will continue supporting small and medium enterprises, promoting energy efficiency, and helping banks address the impact of economic uncertainty in European financial markets.”
These are some of IFC’s highlights from the last fiscal year, when ended on June 30:
·        IFC provided $30 million in financing to ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank to support agribusiness and microfinance in rural areas, expanding access to finance and boosting job creation;
·        IFC funding allowed Byblos Bank Armenia to increase access to housing finance and supported Armenia’s first energy-efficiency lending packages from a local bank, helping save power and reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
·        IFC’s $15 million in financing to HSBC Bank Armenia, including up to $4 million from the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program, helped the bank support sustainable energy projects and provide loans to small and medium enterprises interested in investing in energy efficient technologies;
·        IFC provided advisory support to banks by designing renewable energy and energy-efficiency financing products. It also encouraged banks to adopt international environmental standards and helped decrease greenhouse gas emissions;
·        IFC’s commitments included about $30 million in trade finance guarantees to local banks supporting foreign trade transactions by local companies;
·        IFC continued supporting Lydian International, an early-stage gold exploration company, as part of an effort to create jobs and contribute to the growth of Armenia's economy;
·        Through its Armenia Investment Climate Reform Project, IFC assisted the Armenian government in reforming its inspection systems, helping businesses save time and resources while making the procedures more efficient; and
·        IFC launched its Armenia Food Safety Improvement Project to increase awareness of food safety issues and help food producers break into new markets.
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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