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IFC, Quds Bank Support Cross-border Trade in Palestinian Territories


In Cairo:
Mohamed Essa:

Phone: +202 2461 4331
E-mail: messa@ifc.org


Ramallah, West Bank and Gaza, September 2, 2019—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed a trade financing agreement with a leading bank in the West Bank and Gaza to boost cross-border trade and help local businesses access international markets.

IFC will provide Quds Bank with trade guarantees to help its clients import and export critical commodities, including raw materials, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, and spare parts. It will also help the bank connect to a global correspondent banking network, crucial to grow its trade business over the coming few years.

“We are delighted with our partnership with IFC. We always seek to provide advanced banking solutions that meet the requirements of our clients. This agreement will support our strategy and helps us to develop our portfolio, strengthening our footprint as a market leader locally and abroad through the diversification of our services," said Salah Hidmi, Chief Executive Officer of Quds Bank.

The agreement is part of IFC’s $5 billion Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP). This offers global and regional banks guarantees covering payment risk against letters of credit and other trade-related transactions in new or challenging markets where trade lines may be constrained or non-existing.

“Palestinian companies often find it difficult to trade across borders because of a lack of financing,” said Youssef Habesch, IFC Principal Country Officer in the West Bank and Gaza. “By supporting businesses with trade guarantees, we can help boost cross-border commerce. That will allow local firms to generate foreign currency and help Palestinians access products that are not available locally.”  

The deal marks IFC’s third trade financing deal in the Palestinians territories. The agreement is aligned with the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy for the West Bank and Gaza, which focuses on supporting the financial sector and expanding inclusion by easing access to finance and trade facilitation.

Quds Bank is the third-largest national bank in terms of market share and assets, with a network of 40 branches spread across the West Bank and Gaza. It has recently opened a representative office in Amman-Jordan.
Since the inception of the GTFP, IFC has committed $6.3 billion to support trade financing across MENA, of which around $5.4 billion is in fragile and conflict-affected countries.



About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

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