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IFC Invests in Mauritania’s Financial Sector


In Washington
Hannfried von Hindenburg
Phone: +1 (202) 458-5613
Email:
hvonhindenburg@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 13th, 2005 — The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has recently signed an agreement to provide a senior loan of up to $10 million to Generale de Banque de Mauritanie. It is Mauritania’s largest bank, with assets of $154 million equivalent and equity of $41 million equivalent in 2004. The bank - in which Belgium’s Belgolaise Bank has a 30 percent equity stake - was incorporated in 1995 and provides banking services to the corporate and retail markets.

The $10 million loan, a repeat investment by IFC, will help the bank scale up its operations. Jyrki Koskelo, IFC’s Director for Global Financial Markets, said, "IFC’s provision of another loan to Generale Banque de Mauritanie is an indication of our ongoing confidence in and support for Mauritania’s financial sector.  Strengthening the sector is a key ingredient to attracting large amounts of long-term capital.” He added, “Our loan will enable the bank not only to expand its term finance activities, but also to tap important upcoming projects in the country, particularly in the nascent oil sector.”

Richard Ranken, IFC’s Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, said, "Generale Banque de Mauritanie is an innovative and well-managed financial institution, and this partnership gives IFC an opportunity to continue its institution-building role in the country. It will also promote confidence among other banks in the country.”

Issa Cheiguer, Deputy Managing Director of Generale Banque de Mauritanie, noted, "We welcome IFC’s continued support, which comes at an important time in our growth.  It demonstrates that IFC fully understands our vision and ambition to strengthen our presence within Mauritania and in neighboring countries. This exceptional partnership has enabled us to participate actively in the country’s development and to improve the quality of our management systems.”

The mission of IFC (
www.ifc.org) 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 FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.