IFC Supports Mortgage and Small Business Lending in Georgia with a $20 Million Investment
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will provide financing to Georgia’s Bank Republic to support the expansion of its small and medium enterprise, mortgage, and educational lending programs.
IFC has worked with Bank Republic since 2005, when it participated in IFC’s advisory program to implement corporate governance best practices. IFC helped the bank introduce greater transparency and disclosure principles, increasing its accountability to shareholders and clients. IFC also helped staff the bank’s supervisory board with independent members, strengthening its decision-making power. Investors noticed the improved corporate governance, and in 2006, Société Générale, a major European bank bought 60 percent of the bank’s shares, while the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development bought 10 percent.
Gilbert Hie, Chief Executive Officer of Bank Republic, said, “Bank Republic is very pleased to continue the excellent relationship with IFC started with advisory work and pursued with financing in Georgia. This is a part of the global relationship between IFC and Société Générale Group in many countries in Central and Eastern Europe. It is Bank Republic and Société Générale Strategy to keep close relationship with International Financial Institutions, although Société Générale Group is also very dedicated to supporting its subsidiary in Georgia.”
Edward Nassim, IFC’s Regional Vice President said, “We are very pleased to continue partnering with Bank Republic and contribute to the development of the Georgian banking sector. IFC’s $20 million senior loan and long-term financing to the bank will help increase loans to small and medium enterprises, the backbone of Georgia’s economy. It will also strengthen mortgage lending to help families improve their living conditions, as well as student loans, making quality education accessible to young people.”
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