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IFC Investment to Enhance Modern Information Technology Services in Russia

Moscow, Russia, December 7, 2009 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is supporting regional expansion of a leading systems integrator in Russia, Asteros Group, to expand access to efficient information technology infrastructure and services, helping improve competitiveness of companies in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.  
IFC is providing Asteros with $20 million in debt financing and is investing in a 2.5 percent equity stake with an option for further investment to increase its stake to 12 percent.  The financing will allow Asteros Group to build new data centers and expand its IT-outsourcing business to offer high-quality services across Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, particularly in Kazakhstan and Ukraine.  This will benefit private and public sector companies.
In Russia, IFC’s investment has already been used to support regional expansion.  Asteros has opened new branch offices in Tomsk, Kolpashevo (Tomsk Region), Kemerovo, Ulan-Ude, Abakan and Chita, creating 210 skilled job opportunities.
“By offering IT services that correspond to world’s best practices, we can make a positive impact on our clients’ businesses and thus contribute to the welfare of the country,” said Mikhail Erenburg, CEO of Asteros Group.  “The focus of Asteros’ strategy is to perfect IT-service offerings and develop new progressive lines of business such as IT outsourcing.  Part of IFC’s investment will be directed towards financing large innovative projects of our clients.”
Jyrki Koskelo, IFC Vice President for Europe, Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Global Financial Markets, said, “IFC aims to penetrate underserved regions of Russia with modern technologies to spur development of high-value industries .  We believe that Asteros has great potential for growth and is well-positioned to make a difference in improving access to IT services in Russia and neighboring countries.”
IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD , it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including by expanding access to IT services for businesses in underserved regions and countries.
About IFC
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 private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit .
About Asteros Group
Asteros Group is one of the top five systems integrators in Russia, according to IDC research based on 2008 results. Key lines of business are IT infrastructure, engineering systems, security systems, and IT consulting and outsourcing. The group includes B.A.C, Averta,  and Dialog-Kiev. For more information, visit .