IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has expanded its trade finance program in Russia by providing a EUR20m guarantee facility to its partner Zao Raiffeisenbank, a subsidiary of Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding, to help expand access to trade finance for Russian companies.

The facility offered through the global trade finance program will allow Zao Raiffeisenbank to expand trade finance operations and provide improved trade finance solutions for its clients.

The global trade finance program is desinged to provide trade risk mitigation and trade advisory services in emerging markets. The program extends the capacity of banks to deliver trade finance services in challenging markets where interbank facilities may be limited.

Through the program, IFC helps developing countries increase their share of global trade flows and promotes the movement of goods and services between emerging market economies such as Russia and its neighbors.

Pavel Gurin, chairman of the management board of Zao Raiffeisenbank, said: “Joining IFC’s global trade finance program is a new step in our historically close and productive business relations with IFC. The program will broaden our ability to meet requirements of our clients.”

Snezana Stoiljkovic, director for Central and Eastern Europe at IFC, said: “We are expanding our trade finance program in Russia very actively. Today, our long-term partner, Zao Raiffeisenbank, joined the global network. This will allow us to reach more companies and support more trade transactions in Russia.”

IFC entered into cooperation with Zao Raiffeisenbank in 2003 and has, since then, provided the bank with $160m of debt financing.