VI. The International Financial Institutions (IFI's)
Of the World Bank's $12 billion allocated to 51 projects in Russia since 1992, only $0.6 billion went to the financial sector (compared to 8 times as much wasted on "Economic Planning"). Its private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) refrained from lending to or investing in the financial sector from March 1999 to June 2001. It has approved (or is considering) six projects since then: a loan of $20 million to DeltaCredit, a smallish project and residential finance, USAID backed, fund; a Russian pre-export financing facility (with the German bank, WestLB); Two million US dollars each to the Russian-owned Baltiskii Leasing and Center Invest (a regional bank); $2.5 million to another regional bank (NBD) - and a partial guarantee for a $15 million bond issued by Russian Standard Bank. There is also $5 million loan to Probusiness Bank.
Another active player is the EBRD. Having suffered a humiliating deterioration in the quality of its Russian assets portfolio in 1998-2000, it is active there again. By midyear last year, it had invested c. $300 million and lent another $700 million to Russian banks, equity and mutual funds, insurance companies, and pension funds. This amounts to almost 30% of its total involvement in the Russian Federation. Judging by this commitment, the EBRD - a bank - seems to be regarding the Russian financial system as either an extremely attractive investment - or a menace to Russia's future stability.