IFC Helps Victoria Group Strengthen Serbia’s Farming Sector, Boosting Employment
Belgrade, Serbia, February 21, 2013—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a $75 million loan to Victoria Group to support the development of the private sector in Serbia, where revitalizing agribusiness is essential for creating jobs and lowering a 20 percent unemployment rate.
IFC’s financing will enable Victoria Group, one of the country’s leading agribusinesses, to refinance existing loans and strengthen its base of working capital. The funds will be used by the group’s four core companies: Victoria Oil, Sojaprotein, Victoria Logistics, and Fertil. The loan will also help provide financing to farmers who supply seeds to Victoria Group.
“Obtaining this loan was preceded by detailed evaluation of every aspect of the company – from our business strategy, to our community work, to our commitment to renewable energy,” said Zoran Mitroviæ, general manager of Victoria Group. “Precisely because of such strict criteria, we treat this loan as confirmation of our success.”
Victoria Group is focused primarily on grain trading and the processing of soybean and sunflower seeds. It employs more than 1,800 people.
“IFC is working with Victoria Group to help increase food and cereal production in Serbia,” said Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Manufacturing, Agribusiness, and Services for Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. “This loan will also support inclusive economic development in the country by expanding Victoria’s reach to smaller farmers.”
IFC’s investment portfolio in Serbia stands at $758 million (€563 million). Support to agribusiness represents a key part of IFC’s investment strategy in the country. Recent IFC transactions have provided more than €250 million in direct financing to Serbian agribusinesses. IFC is also working with banks to increase access to finance for the country’s farmers and small agribusinesses. Through its advisory services, IFC is helping agribusinesses improve corporate governance and introduce new standards, allowing them to reach new markets and customers.
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, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
For more information about Victoria Group, visit www.victoriagroup.rs
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