Moscow Retailer Ramenka Receives $70 Million From IFC

Washington DC, November 25, 2002—The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector development arm of the World Bank Group, signed an agreement to provide a US$70 million loan package to Ramenka, a top tier grocery retail and commercial real estate company in Moscow. The investment will support Ramenka’s expansion plans to almost double the company’s retail space.

IFC’s financial package for Ramenka’s expansion consists of loans of $10 million and $30 million for IFC’s own account, and a $30 million syndicated loan for the account of international financial institutions. Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG, as Co-Arranger, was joined in the IFC B Loan syndication by ABN AMRO and International Finance Participation Trust at the Senior Manager level.

Ramenka is one of Moscow’s largest retailers and, under the name Ramstore, operates four shopping malls and ten supermarkets.

“Our new expansion is part of Ramenka’s strategy to respond to the rapid growth of Moscow’s retail market and to strengthen further its position as the sector leader,” said Ramenka’s General Director Mustafa Saglam.

“IFC has enjoyed an excellent relationship with Ramenka for a number of years,” said Richard Ranken, Director of IFC’s Global Manufacturing and Services Department, referring to two loans for $30.5 million and $30.0 million, which IFC extended to Ramenka in 1999 and 2001 respectively. “During these years, the company has proven its reputation for transparency, efficiency and commitment to its market, and IFC is glad to continue providing support to Ramenka in its pursuit of a leadership position in the Moscow retail market,” added Mr. Ranken.

“Ramenka’s expansion will have a significant developmental impact for the city,” noted Edward Nassim, IFC’s Moscow-based Director of Central and Eastern Europe Department. “Today, Moscow has the least amount of per capita retail space and has among the highest rental rates of European capitals. Ramenka’s project will increase the supply of quality retail space and help lower overhead costs for a wide variety of consumer goods. Furthermore, the successful syndication of the IFC B Loan is indicative of increased international lender confidence in Russia,” added Mr. Nassim.

Owned on a 50/50 per cent basis by Migros, Turkey’s largest and oldest supermarket chain, and Enka Insaat, one of the leading Turkish industrial groups active in construction, property development and retail, Ramenka started its business in Moscow with one shopping mall in November 1997, and has grown rapidly since then, despite the 1998 financial crisis in Russia.

IFC has worked actively to support the development of a strong private sector in Russia since the country became an IFC member in 1993. IFC has invested over $136 million in equity and provided loans totaling $448 million to the private sector in Russia, as well as mobilizing $110 million from other sources of financing.

IFC’s mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Since its founding in 1956 through FY02, IFC has committed more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged $21 billion in syndications for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY02 was $15.1 billion for its own account and $6.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.