Kingston, Jamaica, February 27, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $20 million in Jamaica’s
First Global Bank Ltd to help the bank expand services to small and medium
enterprises, the largest generators of jobs locally, and serve the financing
needs of the local business sector amid the global financial crisis.
IFC will provide a $10 million loan
to First Global Bank and invest $10 million in preferred shares, marking
IFC’s first financing to the bank. The investment is expected to enhance
the bank’s ability to lend to Jamaican businesses, improving overall access
to capital and longer-term financing.
“We value IFC’s partnership in addressing
the critical need for working capital and project financing for Jamaican
businesses,” said Wayne Wray, President of First Global Bank. “The additional
capital will facilitate our expansion plans in Jamaica and throughout the
region, as we seek to be even more responsive to customer needs.”
Kirk Ifill, IFC Representative for the English Caribbean, said, “IFC is
committed to supporting sound financial players in the Caribbean like the
First Global Bank to help them better serve their clients and mitigate
the impact of the global financial crisis.”
IFC is expanding operations in the Caribbean,
with a focus on helping develop the financial sector to generate sustainable
growth and improve the region's competitiveness. The investment in First
Global Bank demonstrates IFC’s commitment to building long-term partnerships
with local financial institutions.
As of January 2009, IFC’s committed
portfolio in the Caribbean region totaled $379 million. Since 2000, IFC
has provided and mobilized more than $1.3 billion in financing for the
Caribbean in such sectors as financial markets, infrastructure, information
and communications technologies, manufacturing and services, health, and
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 $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous
year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.