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IFC and BCEL to Help Lao Brewery Company Expand Its Vientiane Operations and Build New Plant


In Vientiane:
Litsamy Latsavong
Phone: +856 21 450 017
Email: LLatsavong@ifc.org

In Hong Kong:
Andrew Mak
Phone: +852 2509 8110
Email:
AMak@ifc.org

In Phnom Penh:
Ann Bishop
Phone: +855 23 210 922
Email: ABishop1@ifc.org


Vientiane, July 31, 2007 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Banque pour le Commerce Exterieur Lao today announced that they will provide long-term co-financing to Lao Brewery Company, Lao PDR’s largest taxpayer and producer of the well-known Beer Lao brand. This will help the company expand and create more jobs in the capital city of Vientiane as well as in the country’s rapidly developing south. BCEL, Lao PDR’s largest state-owned commercial bank, will provide $11 million, with IFC providing the remaining $9 million.

At a press briefing today, Kissana Vongsay, Managing Director of Lao Brewery Company, said, “We are pleased to have been able to obtain this $20 million financing from BCEL and IFC.  This long-term financing, which has been difficult to obtain from local financial institutions, will help us improve our competitiveness in the local market as we expand our Vientiane brewery. It will support our second production facility, which will enhance our distribution in the southern part of the country, while helping us with our strategy to access export markets.”

Aksone Bouphakonekham, Chairman of BCEL, said, “We hope this partnership with IFC will result in future investments in the country. This will enhance our ability to help develop the Lao economy by enabling us to leverage our resources and provide long-term financing that will help Lao companies upgrade equipment and expand operations.”

Kissana, who is also President of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, added, “This joint financing arrangement is not only beneficial for the Lao Brewery Company. It is also a milestone for the country, as it opens the door for other businesses to obtain joint financing, which is a positive development for the Lao economy.”

Sin Foong Wong, IFC Country Manager, said, “This expansion will enable LBC to hire more workers in Vientiane and create new jobs in Pakse in Champasak Province. It will also provide new markets for Lao rice farmers as they help meet the brewery’s increased demand. IFC is strongly committed to supporting private enterprise development in Lao PDR. We hope to follow this investment with many others, and we will also continue to support private sector growth and poverty reduction with our advisory services.”

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing capital in the international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY06, IFC committed $8.3 billion, including syndications, to 284 investments in 66 developing countries. For more information, please visit www.ifc.org.