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

Azerbaijan, Baku, 7 August / Trend corr. I.Khalilova/ IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has launched the Central Asia and Azerbaijan Mortgage Lending Advisory Project. The project's objective is to provide direct support to commercial banks in implementing or upgrading their mortgage programmes focusing on serving the banking sector of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. 

Banks in Central Asia and Azerbaijan have expressed a need for high quality direct support to development their mortgage lending facilities; in a region without a tradition of housing finance this would provide a significant and immediate impact. "This project will help to ensure that the foundation is in place 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 targeted countries are all operating at different levels of experience with regards to mortgage lending, Kazakhstan being the most advanced. Yet Kazakh banks still realise that to ensure the quality of their portfolio, and lay the groundwork for future securitization, further improvements must be implemented. IFC will provide the means necessary for banks to quickly begin putting into practice these changes through the delivery of advisory services, including support in product development, origination, underwriting and servicing procedures, tailored specifically to the needs of individual banks.

"IFC has worked for 3 years to develop the primary and secondary mortgage sectors in Central Asia, and this project will continue to advance this effort, helping banks in Central Asia and Azerbaijan create a mortgage lending environment recognised domestically and internationally as secure and suitable for engagement," said Rolf Behrndt, Senior Operations Officer of IFC Advisory Services in Southern Europe and Central Asia.

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 www.ifc.org

On 6 August, the official exchange rate totalled 0.8093 AZN/USD. 

The correspondent can be contacted at capital@trend.az

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