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IFC Supports Expansion of Saudi Retailer to Eastern Europe and Central Asia

In Washington, D.C.:
Ludi Joseph

Phone: +1 202 473 7700


In Cairo, Egypt:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +20 2 461 9140/45/50

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia/Washington, D.C., October 6, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing $50 million in financing to leading Saudi Arabia-based retailer, Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair, to help it expand to Eastern Europe and Central Asia. IFC’s financing is compliant with Islamic Shariah law.

The company will use IFC’s commodity Murabaha facility to finance expansion of its operations in Kazakhstan and open in new markets such as Azerbaijan and Georgia. The new investment will help create 2,000 new jobs, approximately half of them for women, facilitate training programs, and contribute to economic linkages by partnering with local shopping mall operators, contractors, and other service providers.

IFC’s support will help establish an efficient, transparent, and socially-responsible business model in markets where modern retail formats are under-represented, and where strengthening consumer purchasing power is an important priority for private sector development.

“IFC’s partnership demonstrates the international viability of our business,” said Abdulmajeed Abdulaziz Fahed Alhokair, Director of the Board and Managing Director, Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair. “The facility will further support our ongoing growth strategy in the Caucasus and Central Asia.”

Guy Ellena, IFC Director, Manufacturing, Agribusiness, and Services for Europe, Middle East, and North Africa, said, “As a highly competitive apparel retail company, Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair will help develop a modern cross-regional retail sector, which is still fragmented and underserved in target markets. IFC’s involvement also sends a strong signal of support and investor confidence in the region.”

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit

About Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair

Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair, a leading apparel retailer in Saudi Arabia, owns franchising rights to more than 80 global, regional, and local apparel and other consumer brands. It sells these branded products through its network of more than 1,000 retail outlets in five countries across the Middle East and Central Asia.  Thirty percent of the company’s shares are publicly traded on Tadawul, the Saudi stock exchange. For more information, visit

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