IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, extended a $10 million credit line to United Bulgarian Bank to increase its lending to companies in Bulgaria, particularly small and medium enterprises involved in international trade.
Part of IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program, the credit line will help United Bulgarian Bank, a leading bank in Bulgaria, grow its trade business as it seeks to attract new clients in export-generating industries.
The Global Trade Finance Program supports trade in emerging markets by providing partial or full guarantees for individual trade transactions backed by IFC’s triple-A rating.
United Bulgarian Bank becomes the third financial institution in the country to join the Global Trade Finance Program. By expanding the financing available for international trade, the program will help Bulgaria develop its export sector and contribute to the overall growth of the country’s economy.
“This new trade line, which is the first joint project of IFC and United Bulgarian Bank, represents an important milestone in cooperation of our institutions,” said Stilian Vatev, UBB Chief Executive Officer. “UBB and IFC have joined forces in an effort to encourage the sustainable development of import/export-oriented companies in Bulgaria, recognizing their key role in the economy.”
Ed Strawderman, Regional Head of Industry in Europe, Central, Asia Middle East and North Africa, said: “The growth of export industries will be critical for Bulgaria to rebound fully from the euro zone crisis. IFC’s partnership with United Bulgarian Bank demonstrates our support for the country’s economic development by enabling more small and medium enterprises to reach new markets through international trade.”
Since its inception in 2005, the Global Trade Finance Program has issued more than 19,000 guarantees totaling $32 billion to banks for trade-related payment obligations of their financial-institution clients in emerging markets. In 2013, IFC provided $7 billion to support emerging-market importers and exporters, and 79 percent of all guarantees went to small and medium enterprises. The program includes more than 550 partner banks in 150 countries.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
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About United Bulgarian Bank
United Bulgarian Bank was established in 1992 through the merger of 22 Bulgarian regional commercial banks, the first and most comprehensive consolidation project in the Bulgarian banking sector. Since 2000, the bank’s membership in the National Bank of Greece Group has given its business the stability and security of Southeast Europe’s most prestigious financial institution. The bank takes advantage of the Group’s superior financial strength and a broad range of commercial investment banking products and services. For more information, visit www.ubb.bg.
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