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IFC and UBA to Strengthen Strategic Partnership


In Washington
Cynthia Case McMahon
Phone + 1 (202) 473-6287
Email: ccase@ifc.org

In Johannesburg
Daniel Musiitwa
Phone: + (27) 11 731-3175
Email: dmusiitwa@ifc.org

In Lagos
Duke Essiam
Phone: + (234) 1 262-6455
Email: dessiam@ifc.org


Lagos/Washington, March 20, 2007—IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today announced a $50 million convertible loan to the United Bank for Africa, Nigeria’s largest bank in terms of commercial assets. The deal highlights IFC’s continued strategic partnership with select Nigerian financial institutions and is expected to deepen confidence in the country’s financial sector reforms.

UBA, which merged with Standard Trust Bank in 2005, will use the loan and the equity that it is currently raising in the public markets to implement its post-consolidation strategy of becoming a top pan-African bank.

The $50 million convertible loan is part of a $75 million financing and advisory services package that IFC’s Board approved for the bank. The package also includes a $25 million partial credit guarantee for bonds and medium-term notes that UBA plans to issue to finance mortgage lending and other strategic businesses.  That portion of the deal is expected to be signed in the near future.

“This transaction reinforces our relationship with IFC and our common commitment to developing the financial markets in Nigeria and Africa,” said Tony Elumelu, CEO of UBA. “We hope to make this strategic partnership with IFC a success story, which should also translate to increased shareholder value for our investors.  This support by IFC is a very good signal to current and future investors in UBA.”

IFC and UBA are developing a strategic alliance through which IFC is investing in and providing advisory services to the bank in numerous areas. These include supporting the bank’s regional expansion, cofinancing large infrastructure and industrial projects, and helping develop the bank’s mortgage, insurance, and structured finance operations. IFC will also advise the bank on establishing a credit bureau; developing its retail services; financing micro, small, and medium enterprises; improving corporate governance; and developing new classes of fixed income capital market products.

“Nigeria’s financial market has experienced good regulatory reforms, which have also catalyzed market consolidation to create well-capitalized and stronger banks in terms of risk management,” said Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, IFC’s Country Manager for Nigeria. “As a result, we are moving from providing only long-term credit facilities to forming long-term strategic partnerships with select banks and other financial institutions. This will deepen existing market segments that these institutions serve, as well as enter new markets where needs and opportunities are great.”

About IFC

IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.  IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06, IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion in funding for private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure, to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance, and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information, please visit www.ifc.org.

IFC in Nigeria
Nigeria became a member and a shareholder of IFC in 1961.  Since then, IFC has invested over $1 billion in the country, including $113 million in syndicated loans, to finance over 68 projects across a variety of sectors.  In FY06, IFC’s investments reached $265 million.  IFC’s committed portfolio in Nigeria currently stands at $719 million.  The Corporation has invested in key sectors including banking, infrastructure, general manufacturing, oil and gas, health care, tourism, and education. For more information, visit www.ifc.org/africa.