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IFC Invests in Export Trading Group to Support Agribusiness in Eastern and Southern Africa


In Johannesburg:
Houtan Bassiri
Phone: +27 (11) 731-3179
E-mail: hbassiri@ifc.org

In Washington:
Irina Likhachova
Phone: +1 (202) 473 1813
Email:
ilikhachova@ifc.org


Nairobi, Kenya, May 26, 2010—IFC announced today that it will provide finance to the Export Trading Group, one of Africa’s largest integrated agricultural supply chain operators, to help the group expand its trading and processing businesses and support development of agribusiness across the region. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group.

IFC will enter a risk participation agreement under which it will fully assume the risk associated with $40 million of $120 million in syndicated loans from Standard Chartered Bank to ETG. The OPEC Fund for International Development will also assume risk for $20 million of the loans. ETG will use the funds to finance the trade of agricultural commodities in several African countries, including Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya, Malawi and Uganda, as well as in India.

Mahesh Patel, ETG’s founder, said, “Agriculture is a vital engine for economic development in Africa and contributes a major portion of GDP, employment, and foreign exchange earnings. ETG looks forward to expanding its partnership with IFC, Standard Chartered Bank, and the OPEC Fund for International Development, which will help develop agriculture and agribusiness markets across the region.”

The expansion of ETG’s operations will improve access to markets for small farmers and help reduce post-harvest crop loss, improving food security and contributing to a more efficient regional market for agro-commodities in Eastern and Southern Africa. The increased purchases of commodities by ETG will also help increase economic activity and create employment in rural areas across the region.

Anil Dua, Head of Origination and Client Coverage for Standard Chartered Bank in Africa, said, “This deal demonstrates Standard Chartered Bank’s commitment to the development of the agricultural sector across Africa by supporting the growth needs of our core clients. It reinforces Standard Chartered’s brand promise of being ‘Here for progress.’”

Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, Director General of OFID, said, “Improved markets for agricultural commodities will encourage economic growth and help alleviate poverty across rural areas in Eastern and Southern Africa. The OPEC Fund for International Development is committed to collaborating with institutions that share our values to bring opportunities to some of the most vulnerable members of society.”

Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, said, “IFC’s investment in Export Trading Group demonstrates how we are partnering with other institutions to meet the demands of agribusiness, a priority sector for IFC in Africa.”

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.4 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About Standard Chartered Bank
Standard Chartered PLC is a leading international bank, listed on the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges. It has operated for over 150 years in some of the world's most dynamic markets and earns around 90 per cent of its income and profits in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. This geographic focus and commitment to developing deep relationships with clients and customers has driven the Bank’s growth in recent years.

With 1700 offices in 70 markets, Standard Chartered offers exciting and challenging international career opportunities for its 75,000 staff. It is committed to building a sustainable business over the long term and is trusted worldwide for upholding high standards of corporate governance, social responsibility, environmental protection and employee diversity. The Bank’s heritage and values are expressed in its brand promise, ‘Here for good’.

About the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID)
The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) is a development finance institution established in 1976 by the Member States of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The primary aim of OFID is to contribute to the social and economic development of emerging and less advanced countries. All developing countries, with the exception of OPEC Member Countries, are in principle eligible for OFID assistance. Today, 125 countries spread across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Europe have benefited from OFID's assistance. OFID’s total commitments as at the end of April 2010 stood at US$11,926 million, of which US$7,256 million have been disbursed. OFID’s resources consist of contributions made by OPEC Member Countries and the accumulated reserves derived from its various operations. For further information please visit: www.ofid.org.