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Vibrant, efficient domestic financial and capital markets are the foundation for shared prosperity and lasting growth. They provide long-term funding for key economic sectors, and protect against capital-flow shocks. Developing such markets is a cornerstone of the World Bank Group’s strategy and a priority for IFC across Europe and Central Asia.
In fiscal year 2018:
- IFC issued its inaugural bond in Uzbek Soum, raising UZS 80 billion - ten million USD equivalent - to expand lending for micro, small and medium enterprises in Uzbekistan. This is the first-ever Uzbek Soum denominated transaction issued in the international market.
- IFC continued its strong support for Turkish banks helping to revive the dormant covered bonds market, boost access to finance for businesses, and introducing green mortgages. IFC invested a total of $300 million in Turkish lira equivalent in covered bonds issued by Yapı Kredi Bankası and Akbank to help boost the residential mortgage sector, including the development of green buildings.
- In Turkey, IFC also launched its first gender bond investment globally. IFC invested $75 million in a bond issue by Turkey’s Garanti Bank—the first private sector gender bond in emerging markets dedicated to financing enterprises and companies owned or managed by women. The investment is in partnership with the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility (WEOF), launched by IFC through its Banking on Women Program, and Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women initiative.
- IFC invested €40 million in mortgage covered bonds issued by the National Bank of Greece (NBG), supporting NGB in regaining access to international capital markets and boosting investor confidence in the Greek economy. The three-year maturity bond is backed by a portfolio of residential mortgages.
- IFC provided finance to microfinance institutions in Serbia, Romania, Kazakhstan and Kosovo to expand access to finance to micro and small companies and entrepreneurs, and provided advisory services to improve operational efficiency of microfinance institutions.
- In Kazakhstan, IFC provided a syndicated loan of $82 million equivalent in Kazakh tenge to “Microfinance organization “KMF” LLC to boost lending to micro and small enterprises, including women entrepreneurs and customers in rural areas of Kazakhstan.
- IFC signed agreements with the National Bank of Tajikistan and the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic to help implement legislative reforms in electronic and digital financial services, and create a conducive regulatory environment for delivering financial services to the local unbanked population.
- IFC invested €120 million in subordinated bonds issued by Banca Transilvania (BT), Romania’s second-largest bank by assets, to strengthen its capital base and growth, and help deepen the country’s financial markets. IFC was the lead investor in the 10-year maturity bond issuance—the first subordinated debt issuance listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange, which raised €285 million. The bond is the first ever Basel 3 Tier 2 instrument on the Romanian market.
- IFC provided two loans totaling €32 million to Garanti Group Romania to help finance smaller businesses, with half the money earmarked for on-lending to companies owned or managed by women.
- We have also supported a record amount of trade transactions over $28 million to Ameriabank, the largest bank in Armenia which received an IFC award as best issuing bank in Caucasus and Central Asia.