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IFC Posts Record Results in Asia Pacific, Appoints First Asia-focused Vice President

Hong Kong SAR, China, July 26, 2011 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, made record investments in Asia Pacific during fiscal year 2011 that are expected to support 30,000 jobs, reach 840,000 farmers, and facilitate loans to micro, small, and medium enterprises worth around $21 billion. IFC’s new investment commitments in 120 projects totaled $3.9 billion for the region.
Underscoring the importance of the Asia region, stretching from India to the Pacific islands, IFC appointed Karin Finkelston as the institution’s first vice president exclusively focused on Asia, based in Hong Kong. Her appointment took effect July 1, 2011. She reports to IFC’s Executive Vice President and CEO Lars Thunell.
“Private sector development has helped hundreds of millions of people escape poverty in the Asia Pacific region over the past two decades,” Thunell said. “Having someone with Karin’s expertise and knowledge of the region on the management team will help IFC support further development and bring prosperity to more people, especially those in the least developed countries.”
Sergio Pimenta will succeed Finkelston as Director for East Asia and Pacific and Thomas Davenport will continue as Director for South Asia. Rashad Kaldany, the previous Vice President for Asia, Eastern and Southern Europe, Middle East, and North Africa, based in Istanbul, has returned to headquarters in Washington, D.C. as Vice President for Global Industries.
“Our record investment numbers underscore IFC’s strategy of supporting jobs through investments in infrastructure, access to finance for small and medium enterprises, and fighting climate change through clean energy and energy efficiency, as well as investments in socially important sectors such as water and health care,” Finkelston said. “I look forward to building on this progress in my new role.”
Preliminary results for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011 show an 11 percent increase in investment projects in Asia from the previous year. Two-thirds of investments were in Asia’s poorest countries, rising to $1.7 billion from $1.4 billion in 2010.
Globally, IFC invested about $18.7 billion in 513 projects in fiscal year 2011 according to preliminary data, after $18 billion the previous year. IFC investments around the world have more than doubled in the past five years.
To help spread Asia’s speedy recovery from the global financial crisis to all segments of society, IFC has been focusing on supporting sustainable, private sector-led development to ensure economic growth reaches the urban and rural poor.
IFC has also continued to expand the private sector’s role in fighting climate change by financing the first grid-tied solar rooftop plants with North Delhi Power Limited and a wind project with Senok Group in Sri Lanka. In Vietnam, IFC invested a record $800 million, including a landmark $307 million equity and loan investment and advisory package for VietinBank, helping to partially privatize the country’s third-largest bank and improve its service delivery to small and medium enterprises.
About Karin Finkelston
Prior to her appointment as Vice President, Karin Finkelston was Director, East Asia and Pacific, a position she held since August 2008. Under her leadership, IFC experienced significant growth in the region, particularly in its frontier markets. By leveraging synergies between IFC’s investment and advisory businesses and piloting innovative approaches, she was able to increase development impact while enhancing profitability.
Ms. Finkelston joined IFC in 1996 and was appointed Country Manager for China and Mongolia in 2000. Under her leadership, the team launched IFC’s China Advisory Services Program based in Chengdu and grew the investment program to $650 million annually. The program linked advisory services with equity investments that catalyzed international standards in local companies and banks. In 2006, Ms. Finkelston moved to Hong Kong to take on the role of Associate Director across the East Asia and Pacific region with responsibility for the investment program.
Prior to joining IFC, Ms. Finkelston worked at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. in New York and Hong Kong and KPMG Consulting in Hanoi, Vietnam. Ms. Finkelston holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Dartmouth College.
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, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit .
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