Washington, D.C., December 23, 2005—The
International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank, announced today that Fransabank SAL of Lebanon has joined its Global
Trade Finance Program. Fransabank SAL is one of the leading Lebanese banks.
The Global Trade Finance Program supports trade with emerging markets worldwide
and promotes the flow of goods and services between developing countries.
IFC provides guarantee coverage of bank risk in emerging markets, allowing
recipients to expand their trade finance transactions within an extensive
network of countries and banks and to enhance their trade finance coverage.
Michael Essex, IFC’s Acting Director for the Middle East and North Africa,
said, “The increasing number of participant banks in the Global Trade
Finance Program paves the way for countries like Lebanon to increase their
share of global trade through this wide network of correspondent banks.”
IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program offers confirming banks partial or
full guarantees against underlying trade instruments and covers the payment
risk of participating issuing banks. The program allows issuing banks to
increase the volume and value of trade transactions with enhanced tenors
and access to competitive pricing.
Adnan Kassar, Fransabank’s Chairman and CEO, said, “Participating in
IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program will support our expanding trade finance
The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the
World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. IFC coordinates
its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but
is legally and financially independent. Its 178 member countries provide
its share capital and collectively determine its policies.
The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment
in developing and transition 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 FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own
funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140
developing countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Established in 1921, Fransabank is the fifth-largest bank in Lebanon in
terms of assets ($4.65 billion as of December 2004) with 6.53 percent market
share. It also ranks first by return on assets and second by capital adequacy
ratio, cost to income, and return on shareholders’ equity. As at year
end 2004, Fransabank SAL had total shareholders’ equity (excluding net
profits for the year) of US$ 291.36 million and Pre-tax profit of US$ 49.51
million. For more information, visit www.fransabank.com