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IFC Provides $50 Million Loan to Republic Bank


In Washington, D.C.:
Desmond Dodd

Phone: +1 (202) 473 7194- Fax: +1 (202) 974 4384

Email:
ddodd@ifc.org

Adriana Gomez

Phone: +1 (202) 458 5204- Fax:+1 (202) 974 4384

Email:
Agomez@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., July 31, 2003—The International Finance Corporation and Republic Bank Ltd. announced a $50 million loan agreement to support the privatization of Barbados National Bank by Republic. Republic has signed an agreement with the government of Barbados to purchase a 57 percent shareholding in BNB. This is IFC’s second investment in Republic, the first being a $20 million line of credit for onlending to provide medium and long-term financing to projects operating in a variety of sectors in the Caribbean region.

Karl Voltaire, director of IFC’s Global Financial Markets Department, said,  “This loan signals IFC’s ongoing partnership with Republic. IFC is pleased to provide long-term financing to support both Republic’s regional expansion strategy and the privatization and modernization of BNB.”  


“The acquisition of BNB will further facilitate the regional integration of the financial services industry,” said Bernard Pasquier, IFC’s director for Latin America and the Caribbean.  “Republic has a strong track record of successful privatizations in both Guyana and Grenada, and we expect to see the same in Barbados and in the Eastern Caribbean.”


David Dulal-Whiteway, deputy managing director of Republic Bank Limited, said, “We are extremely pleased with the fine partnership we have developed  with the IFC. They fully understand and appreciate our vision for creating the Financial Institution of Choice in the Caribbean and have demonstrated their support with a very timely decision to assist in funding the BNB acquisition. We thank the IFC for the confidence placed in us and look forward to working together in the future.”


Republic is Trinidad and Tobago’s largest commercial bank with $2.2 billion equivalent in total assets and $486 million equivalent in total equity as of March 31, 2003.  Created in 1837, Republic has a long and profitable history of banking in the Caribbean and has on average doubled profits every four years in the period since 1971.


The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing 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 FY02, IFC has committed more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged $21 billion in syndications for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio as of FY02 was $15.1 billion for its own account and $6.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications. As of April 30, 2003, IFC had four projects held and disbursed in Trinidad and Tobago, totaling $32 million for its own account.


Note: All figures in this release are in U.S. dollars.