IFC is the world’s largest multilateral investor in private companies in emerging markets. As part of the World Bank Group, we invest in the private sector in emerging economies to promote growth, reduce poverty, and improve people’s lives. IFC invests in markets in which other private financiers are unprepared to assume all the risks. We apply our financial resources, technical expertise, global experience, and innovative thinking to help our partners overcome financial, operational, and political challenges.
IFC offers a variety of investment products and services that enable its partners to capitalize on emerging opportunities. We work closely with each client, tailoring our investment strategy to take into account the specifics of a country and sector.
In fiscal year 2014 (July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014), IFC commitments in the region totaled $4.7 billion in 117 projects, including $1.2 billion in funds mobilized from our partners.
These investments cover a wide range of sectors, including financial markets, agribusiness, IT, manufacturing, and infrastructure. We continue to support small and medium enterprises through the financial sector and advisory services, and to increase our investments in locally-owned companies and in low-income regions. As of June 30, 2014, IFC's committed portfolio in Europe and Central Asia stood at $10.6 billion.
Advisory work plays an important role in IFC's involvement in the region. IFC works with its investment partners to build reliable supply and distribution chains through customized advice on better production and management practices to local suppliers and distributors. IFC also helps local companies improve their corporate governance, and environmental and social practices. In addition, IFC provides advice to national governments on improving business legislation and the overall investment climate. In FY14, ECA Advisory Services delivered a solid advisory program worth $40 million with a focus on projects in IDA countries, fragile and conflict-affected countries, and climate change.
IFC’s strategy in ECA is to continue supporting private sector development focused on helping small and medium enterprises, developing capital markets, tackling climate change, boosting food security by supporting agribusiness, and increasing private sector participation in infrastructure.
Highlights of IFC’s program addressing these regional priorities include:
The region’s businesses received strong support through increased access to finance. IFC provided $1.1 billion of financing to banks for on-lending to smaller companies, including almost €150 million as equity investment in Raiffeisen Bank International to be channeled to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) via subsidiaries across Central and Eastern Europe.
IFC continued to build and strengthen regional capital markets with several landmark deals, issuing the first foreign corporate bond in Armenia.
IFC committed over $600 million in transactions addressing climate change.
The region’s agribusiness sector received $400 million in commitments for projects aimed at boosting the region’s food production and increasing food security. This included the first $175 million commitment of IFC’s $250 million financial package to MHP, Ukraine’s leading poultry producer, which was raised amid challenging market conditions.
With public sector budgets strained, the development of public-private partnerships (PPPs) has been a priority for governments across ECA. IFC’s PPP advisory team is assisting the implementation of CASA-1000 in Central Asia, a transformational power transmission project to carry summertime hydropower surpluses generated in the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
IFC supported development of transport and municipal infrastructure, including two new tramway lines in Izmir in Turkey, improvements of heating systems in Timisoara and Botosani in Romania, and the award-winning transaction to build a new modern terminal at the Zagreb International Airport in Croatia.
IFC delivered impact in less-developed and frontier areas of the region, investing almost $600 million.