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IFC Equity Investment in Sogebank Promotes Access to Finance for SMEs in Haiti


In Washington, D.C.:
Adriana Gomez, IFC
Phone: (202) 458 5204
E-mail: AGomez@ifc.org

In Port-au-Prince, Haiti:
Hervé Délorme, Sogebank
Phone: +509 22 29 50 06
E-mail: hdelorme@sogebank.com


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.”

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 $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.