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IFC joins Bank of Georgia in expanding access to finance in Belarus

By Messenger Staff
Monday, July 12
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced on July 8 that it was joining Bank of Georgia in its efforts to develop business in new markets and expand access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises in Belarus.

Bank of Georgia holds 99.96 percent equity interest in Belarusky Narodny Bank, a midsize Belarusian bank with a strong focus on small and medium-sized business finance, according to bank officials. IFC will buy 19.9 percent of its equity and provide a $5 million loan to Belarusky Narodny Bank, partnering with Bank of Georgia to expand business in the promising Belarus market, IFC and Bank of Georgia reported.

“It is IFC’s role to promote cross-border investments and thus contribute to the development of regional economic ties and support local markets and companies,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Head, Caucasus. “We look forward to this project’s success, which will benefit the banking sectors of both Belarus and Georgia.”

“I am delighted that together with IFC we have completed these milestone transactions for BNB. IFC’s participation as a shareholder and lender will undoubtedly increase BNB’s competitiveness and provide invaluable support in the bank’s development,” Irakli Gilauri, Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Georgia, said.