Washington, D.C., May 15, 2006—The
International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, today announced that Bank of Beirut SAL has joined its Global
Trade Finance Program. Bank of Beirut SAL is one of the leading private
commercial banks in Lebanon.
The Global Trade Finance Program supports trade with emerging markets worldwide
and promotes the flow of goods and services between developing countries.
IFC provides guarantee coverage of bank risk in emerging markets, allowing
recipients to expand their trade finance transactions within an extensive
network of countries and banks and to enhance their trade finance coverage.
Farida Khambata, IFC’s vice president for portfolio and risk management,
said, “IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program will support Bank of Beirut’s
expanding trade finance business. The increasing number of participant
banks in the program paves the way for developing countries like Lebanon
to increase their share of global trade through this wide network of correspondent
IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program offers confirming banks partial or
full guarantees against underlying trade instruments and covers the payment
risk of participating issuing banks. The program allows issuing banks to
increase the volume and value of trade transactions with enhanced tenors
and access to competitive pricing terms.
IFC’s first engagement with Bank of Beirut was in 1997 with an eight-year
credit line for industrial and housing loans for Lebanese private sector
businesses and individuals.
Salim G. Sfeir, Bank of Beirut SAL’s chairman-general manager, said, “Joining
IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program means Bank of Beirut can further expand
its network of correspondent banks, which creates new opportunities for
Bank of Beirut’s participation as an issuing bank in Lebanon has expanded
the coverage provided by IFC’s GTFP particularly to support intraregional
trade in the Middle East and North Africa. Worldwide, the Global Trade
Finance Program has issued guarantees worth $150 million since it began
operations in September 2005.
The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the
World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. IFC coordinates
its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but
is legally and financially independent. Its 178 member countries
provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.
The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment
in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve
people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing
world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps
clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical
assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding
in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own
funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140
developing countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
As of December 31, 2005, Bank of Beirut SAL had total assets of LBP 6,502,738
million ($4,313 million), a deposit base of LBP 4,278,366 million ($2,838
million), and Advances of LBP 1,143,906 million ($759 million).
At year end 2005, Bank of Beirut SAL had total shareholder equity (excluding
net profits for the year) of LBP 527,466 million ($350 million) and pretax
profit of LBP 52,760 million ($35 million). For more information, visit