International Finance Corporation’s new investment commitments in Asia Pacific totalled $3.9 billion spread over 120 projects last year with as much as two-thirds of investments being in Asia’s poorest countries, rising to $1.7 billion from $1.4 billion in 2010, according to the preliminary results for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, the investment arm of the World Bank said.
IFC has just appointed Karin Finkelston as the institution’s first vice president exclusively focused on Asia. Finkelston who took over the role from July 1, 2011, is based in Hong Kong and reports to IFC’s Executive Vice President and CEO Lars Thunell.
“Our record investment numbers underscore IFC’s strategy of supporting jobs through investments in infrastructure, access to finance for small and medium enterprises, and fighting climate change through clean energy and energy efficiency, as well as investments in socially important sectors such as water and health care,” Karin Finkelston said.
In her earlier position, Finkelston was Director, East Asia and Pacific, a position she held since August 2008. She joined IFC in 1996 and was appointed Country Manager for China and Mongolia in 2000.
Under her leadership, the team launched IFC’s China Advisory Services Program based in Chengdu and grew the investment program to $650 million annually. The program linked advisory services with equity investments that catalyzed international standards in local companies and banks. In 2006, Finkelston moved to Hong Kong to take on the role of Associate Director across the East Asia and Pacific region with responsibility for the investment program.
Sergio Pimenta will succeed Finkelston as Director for East Asia and Pacific and Thomas Davenport will continue as Director for South Asia. Rashad Kaldany, the previous Vice President for Asia, Eastern and Southern Europe, Middle East, and North Africa, based in Istanbul, has returned to headquarters in Washington, as Vice President for Global Industries.
Globally, IFC invested about $18.7 billion in 513 projects in fiscal year 2011 according to preliminary data, against $18 billion the previous year. IFC’s investments around the world have more than doubled in the past five years. A detailed annual report with information on investments in South Asia including India will follow.
IFC that has been one of the most active investment organisations in India in the recent past has committed over $500 million of funds through a mix of equity and debt in the country since January 1, according to VCCircle estimates.
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