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ENTERPRISE FUND ANNOUNCES NEW INITIATIVES SUPPORTING GROWTH IN POLISH PRIVATE SECTOR

 ENTERPRISE FUND ANNOUNCES NEW INITIATIVES SUPPORTING
 GROWTH IN POLISH PRIVATE SECTOR
 NEW YORK, May 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The Polish-American Enterprise Fund announced a number of initiatives designed to meet the needs of Polish private sector development. They include the establishment of a new CEO-level business association, Poland's first private mortgage bank, an increase in capital available for small business borrowers and additional investment commitments in the manufacturing sector.
 "The Enterprise Fund has closed investments of more than $100 million so far, providing capital to more than 1,000 Polish enterprises, 30 of which represent major investments ranging up to $15 million," said John P. Birkelund, chairman of the Polish-American Enterprise Fund.
 He continued, "In addition to making investments in Poland, we are building institutions, based on successful Western models, that support a viable private sector and market economy.
 "Recently, we helped to launch the Polish Business Council, patterned after Western business rountables composed of chief executive officers, as a forum for the leaders of private enterprises in Poland to address business and economic issues and formulate action. The concept was greeted with enthusiastic support," explained Birkelund.
 He added, "The Council's inaugural meeting at the end of April was attended by more than 50 chief executive officers of the leading Polish private enterprises and senior in-country managers of the major foreign firms with investments in Poland."
 Another major initiative of the Enterprise Fund is the establishment of Poland's first private mortgage bank.
 "Our new Polish-American Mortgage Bank represents a significant investment critical to the development of Poland's single family housing market," said Robert G. Faris, president and chief executive officer of the Enterprise Fund.
 He continued, "It will be the first such private institution offering construction loans to developers and takeout financing for home purchasers."
 The Polish-American Mortgage Bank, or PAMBank, has received its license and is being organized. It will specialize in financing single family attached housing for the emerging Polish middle class. Its initial capitalization of $16 million is provided by the Enterprise Fund, Wielkopolski Bank Kredytowy in Poznan and Polservice in Warsaw. KeyCorp Mortgage Inc. of Albany, N.Y.-based KeyCorp is assisting in the training of PAMBank staff.
 "We are also expanding the capabilities of the Enterprise Fund's small business financing program," Faris added.
 "With 1,000 small business loans approved now, we have acquired substantial experience in commercial lending in Poland," he reported.
 "We recognize that small business loans involve high risks, particularly with the difficult conditions that exist during Poland's economic transition, but the Enterprise Fund is committed to providing the capital small enterprises need to grow. We are moving forward with our efforts by making an additional $10 million available for our small business loan program and raising the limit for these loans to $75,000," stated Faris.
 Applications for loans at this new higher limit will be processed, as in the past, through Enterprise Fund loan desks at branches of the nine Polish regional banks participating in this program. The Enterprise Fund's mid-range business financing program, employing similar standardized application procedures, will now process those applications for capital in the $75,000 to $500,000 range through the same already established network of loan desks throughout Poland.
 Faris concluded, "These recent investments will significantly broaden the Enterprise Fund's impact by adding to the pool of capital available to meet the growing needs of small Polish private businesses and Poland's emergent home building industry."
 The Board of Directors of the Polish-American Enterprise Fund also recently approved major manufacturing sector investments to establish a new manufacturer of sportshoes and a new producer of tooling used for industrial molds.
 The Polish-American Enterprise Fund, a private corporation with an independent Board of Directors, was established in 1990 by President Bush and the U.S. Congress to tap the expertise of private sector professionals in making investments to encourage Polish private sector development. It was authorized to receive $240 million in initial capital over a three-year period.
 -0- 5/14/92
 /CONTACT: Francis J. Skrobiszewski, 212-339-8330, or Ryszard Kruk, (Poland), 011-48-2-625-1921, both of the Polish-American Enterprise Fund/ CO: Polish-American Enterprise Fund ST: New York IN: SU:


CG -- CL010 -- 0336 05/14/92 14:59 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 14, 1992
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