Port-au-Prince, Haiti, July 21, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $4 million in equity in
Sogebank, Haiti’s largest banking group, to help boost financing for micro,
small, and medium enterprises, which employ about 80 percent of local workers
and are key contributors to the economy.
This equity investment is part of a
long-term partnership that IFC and Sogebank initiated a year ago, when
IFC started providing advisory services to help strengthen the organizational
structure of the bank’s small and medium enterprise department. IFC’s
investment and advisory services will enable the bank to reach more than
2,500 active micro, small, and medium borrowers over a five-year period.
Sogebank is the leading commercial bank
in Haiti. Its activities comprise retail and corporate banking, microfinance,
remittance distribution, and factoring, which operate as independent businesses
through subsidiaries. Sogebank has the largest branch network in the country
with 42 branches and a solid image and reputation.
“We welcome IFC as a shareholder in
Sogebank,” said Robert Moscoso, Sogebank’s Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer. “This investment sends a strong signal about IFC’s commitment
to support a key financial player in expanding access to finance to essential,
productive sectors in Haiti, a country where only one percent of the population
has access to formal financing.”
Salem Rohana, IFC Resident Representative
for Haiti and the Dominican Republic, said, “This initiative is part of
IFC’s pledge to helping stimulate economic growth in Haiti and enhancing
the delivery of basic financial services to underserved microentrepreneurs
and small businesses.”
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.
Other IFC activities in Haiti
IFC’s strategy in Haiti focuses on
promoting economic growth and improving access to basic services, particularly
for the most vulnerable groups. IFC has ramped up its activities in this
country in the past two years and has opened a local office to promote
rapid growth for its investment and advisory program.
IFC’s advisory operations in the country
include training to improve managerial skills of local SMEs through IFC’s
Business Edge program, enhancing the performance of textile companies,
and improving regulations to promote foreign direct investment and free
industrial zones. IFC’s investment activities include loan financing
for Digicel Haiti, an equity investment in Micro Credit National, a trade-finance
line to Capital Bank, and financing for Grupo M’s CODEVI textiles park.