OREANDA-NEWS. July 13, 2010. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is joining forces with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to facilitate development of business infrastructure and create employment in Armenia by supporting construction of Elite Plaza, the first high-class multipurpose office building in Yerevan.

IFC and EBRD will provide loans of USD 5.4 million and USD 3.6 million, respectively, to Elite Group, a leading property development company with operations in Armenia and Georgia, to build an 18-store building that will accommodate office, retail, conference, and exhibition areas to meet the growing demand for high-quality office space in Armenia.

In addition to long-term financing, which is not currently available in the market, IFC will provide Elite Group with sector expertise and know-how to help the company develop and operate its first office building project applying international safety and environmental standards, thus setting a market benchmark for other local developers.

“IFC’s investment will help support real estate and construction which form an important part of Armenia’s economy and employment,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Head, Caucasus.  “We are delighted to partner with Elite Group to create the business center of international standards.”

The investment is a part of the two institutions’ regional strategy to support development of infrastructure in emerging markets.

“This project is EBRD’s second investment with the Elite Group, a company that is committed to implementing advanced technologies in its work,” said Sasha Babayan, the EBRD Banker at the Yerevan Resident Office.

“The new business center will set a precedent for high-quality standards in Armenia’s construction industry and will attract local and international clients.”

IFC has been investing in Armenia since 2000 to support financial institutions, small retailers, and the hotel industry, among others. It also has implemented advisory projects to strengthen the financial sector, establish a sustainable market for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments, and improve the country’s business environment.