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IFC, Canada Continue Supporting Sustainable Energy Financing in Lebanon


In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: + (202) 2461-4230
E-mail: rmustafa@ifc.org

In Washington, DC:
Sona Panajyan
Phone: +1(202) 473-9751
E-mail: spanajyan@ifc.org

Beirut, Lebanon, May 9, 2016—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, with the support of the Government of Canada, is helping Fransabank, the third largest banking Group in Lebanon, scale up its lending to businesses that are looking to adopt renewable and energy-efficient technologies and mitigate climate change.  

IFC will provide a loan package of US$20 million to Fransabank to help increase its lending for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. This is expected to help businesses save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote sustainable development. The financing package includes a US$14 million loan from IFC’s own account, and a US$6 million loan from the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program.  

The investment marks IFC’s fourth loan to Fransabank Group in sustainable energy finance (SEF). In May 2014, IFC provided a US$10 million loan to the Bank and a US$3 million loan to its leasing arm, the Lebanese Leasing Company SAL (LLC). Both loans were fully utilized. In January 2016, a US$ 7 million loan was also granted to LLC.

“The Bank has financed till date projects in different sectors, such as Agriculture, Industry, Green Buildings, Education, Health, Tourism, etc. This additional investment from IFC and Canada will help Fransabank to support clean energy technologies and encourage sustainable practices that will improve competitiveness of local companies and increase their profitability,” said Adnan Kassar, Chairman of Fransabank Group.

"Supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy projects is key to fostering a sustainable future in Lebanon and other parts of the region,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “This loan to Fransabank highlights a growing demand for cost-effective and energy-efficient solutions among Lebanese businesses."

The Government of Canada's contribution to the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program has helped make this financing package viable. To date, Canada has provided CA$271 million to the program, to enable climate change investments that are generating significant environmental and economic benefits in developing countries.

“Climate change affects everyone, and we must work together to find the solutions the world needs. The Government of Canada’s investment in renewable energy initiatives in Lebanon is helping to encourage the adoption of a greener economy, achieve GHG reductions and foster a cleaner, more prosperous global future,” said the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Lebanon’s greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 28 percent since 1994 and continue to rise.  The project will help reduce those emissions by 95,000 tons per year by year 2020, and strengthen sustainable energy financing in Lebanon.

Sustainable Energy Finance is part of Fransabank Group ‘Go Green Strategy’. Fransabank is looking to further increase its SEF portfolio by targeting new market segments. This will help it improve the risk profile of its portfolio and enhance its social and environmental image.  
 
The initiative is part of IFC’s Sustainable Energy Finance Program, which aims to develop the capacity of banks and financial institutions to extend sustainable energy financing to the private sector. To date, through the program, IFC has supported 125 financial partners through 135 sustainability and climate projects in 37 countries, providing US$4.5 billion in financing that has helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 25 million tons.

About the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program
The IFC-Canada Climate Change Program promotes private sector financing for clean energy projects and received funding under Canada’s fast-start financing to catalyze investments in renewable, low-carbon technologies that would not otherwise happen. The Government of Canada is committed to support climate change action and will deliver $2.65 billion between 2015 and 2020 to support developing countries’ transition to low carbon economies and adapt to the impacts of climate change. For more information on Canada’s investment in global climate change action, visit
http://climatechange.gc.ca/finance

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly US$18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

About Fransabank
Fransabank is the oldest bank in Lebanon. It was established in 1921 and is registered number one on the list of banks operating in the country. It operates over 123 branches and has a regional footprint in the Middle East and Africa, with subsidiaries in Europe. The bank is one of the leading banks in Lebanon, ranking third in Total Assets and offering a large product line including retail, corporate, investment, private and insurance. Fransabank has been partnering for more than 20 years with prominent banks and international financial institutions. For more information, visit www.fransabank.com.
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