Washington, D.C., April 7, 2000 –
Following is a package of brief announcements about IFC transactions signed
in the past month for investments that will support private sector enterprises
in the developing world. Packaged deals is a monthly digest of new IFC
investments that have not been announced in our regular press releases.
More information is available by contacting the Media Relations team listed
at the end.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private
sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and
improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the
developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
The International Finance Corporation is providing a US$7 million loan
to Frutera Del Pacifico (Pacifico), a banana grower and exporter in Guatemala,
to develop banana plantations on the southern coast of the country.
The loan will finance the development of 1,412 hectares of banana plantations
and is expected to more than triple sales from $9 million in 1999 to $28
million in 2001.
The project will buffer the sponsors against the effects of natural disasters
by introducing geographical diversification and will help strengthen the
industry by shifting the use of marginal lands from low return and poorly
competitive agricultural activities to highly productive and competitive
banana plantations. The farms will eventually employ 1,500 workers, meeting
all standards of Guatemalan labor law and World Bank requirements.
MAURITANIA: TELECOM PRIVATIZATION
The Government of Mauritania has retained IFC as its principal advisor
for the privatization of Mauritel, the national telecom operator. This
will be the first privatization of a large infrastructure company in Mauritania
and it will open the way for privatization of the water and electricity
The Government has passed a new telecommunications law and a regulatory
agency has been created. The former Office des Postes et Telecommunications
(OPT) has been separated into Mauritel and Mauripost and opening balance
sheets of these companies have been prepared. Liberalization of the sector
is also underway: an international tender for a cellular license is being
organized and the license is expected to be issued in July 2000.
IFC's assignment will include the analysis the government's strategic options
and an execution phase which will be completed by December 2000. It is
expected that a strategic investor will gain management control of Mauritel
through a capital increase that will contribute to rapid development of
the telecommunications network, improved access to communications services,
better quality and lower tariffs.
CROATIA: PENSION FUND MANAGEMENT
IFC will become a shareholder in a pension fund management company in Croatia
that is being established under the country's pension reform. IFC, which
has extensive experience in pension reform, particularly in Latin America,
predicts the new company will spur development of financial markets and
local economic growth.
IFC will invest up to US$3 million or 20 percent in the company, which
is being established under Pillar 2 of the reformed pension system that
provides for a mandatory, fully funded program managed by licensed, private
sector fund managers. Other pillars provide for a mandatory state-run program
and voluntary pension schemes. Participants will be able to divert some
contributions from the state-run scheme into the Pillar 2 program for investment
over their working lives, and withdraw funds at retirement in order to
buy a pension product from a licensed provider.
The shareholders are Raiffeisen Zentralbank, Austria, the sponsor; its
asset management arm, Raiffeisen Kapitalanlage-Gesellschaft mbH; its affiliated
insurance company, UNIQA Versicherungen AG; and IFC. The new company will
benefit from the Raiffeisen Group's extensive experience in the Croatian
financial sector and international asset management.
TURKEY: DAIRY INDUSTRY
IFC will lend US$15 million to Pinar Süt for a modernization and expansion
project. Pinar Süt is a leading dairy company in Turkey and an IFC client.
The project will raise the standards at the farm level of the dairy industry
in Turkey and increase the availability of modern hygienic food.
KOREA: FIRST SECURITIZATION IN ASIA
IFC has closed the first securitization of equipment lease and loan receivables
in Asia, with Korea-French Merchant Banking Corporation (Sogeko), a leading
merchant bank based in Seoul.
Sogeko transferred a portfolio of lease and loan receivables to a Korean
trust which issued Senior Trust Certificates to IFC amounting to US$81,000,000
of which $20,000,000 A Series Certificates are for the account of IFC and
$61,000,000 B Series Certificates are for the account of Sogeko Funding
Corporation, an offshore special purpose company, which is the sole participant
in the IFC financing. Sogeko Funding Corporation has issued asset-backed
floating rate notes to fund its participation in the B Series Certificates,
which have been rated Baa2 Moody's.
Javed Hamid, Director of IFC's East Asia and Pacific Department said the
securitization offers a potentially important mechanism for Asian borrowers,
who have faced considerable difficulties in executing deals, to raise finance
in the international capital markets. He expressed hope that this innovative
transaction will provide a mechanism for financing other Korean and Asian
IFC has also intermediated for the first time an interest rate basis swap
which allows the Korean Trust to hedge the basis risk arising from the
difference in the LIBOR rates earned on the collateral pool and the LIBOR
rates set in respect of the Senior Trust Certificates.