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IFC to Help Banks in Azerbaijan and Central Asia Develop Mortgage Lending Programs


Almaty, Kazakhstan, July 28, 2008─IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has launched the Central Asia and Azerbaijan Mortgage Lending Advisory Project, which focuses on serving the banking sector in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. The objective is to provide direct support to commercial banks in implementing or upgrading their mortgage lending programs.

Banks in Azerbaijan and Central Asia have expressed a need for high-quality direct support to develop their mortgage lending facilities and provide a significant and immediate impact in the region, where housing finance is not a tradition.

“This project will help create a foundation for long-term growth and security in the local mortgage market through the transfer of best practices in mortgage lending to local commercial banks. With the current market instability, this is now more important than ever,” said Garth Bedford, IFC Project Manager.

The banking sectors in the four countries have different levels of experience in mortgage lending. Kazakhstan is the most advanced, but Kazakh banks realize the need for further improvements to ensure a high-quality portfolio and lay the ground for future securitizations. Through the delivery of advisory services, including support in product development and origination, underwriting, and servicing procedures tailored to the needs of individual banks, IFC will provide the means necessary for banks to begin implementing these changes quickly.

“IFC has been working to develop the primary and secondary mortgage sectors in Kazakhstan for the past three years. This project will continue advancing this effort, helping banks in Kazakhstan and Central Asia create a mortgage lending environment that is recognized in domestic and international markets as secure and suitable to engage in,” said Rolf Behrndt, Senior Operations Officer of IFC Advisory Services in Southern Europe and Central Asia.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit


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