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IFC JOINS FORCES WITH ARAB MONETARY FUND AND IBCA TO LAUNCH INTER-ARAB RATING COMPANY


L.Joseph
Phone: (202) 473-7700
Fax: (202) 676-0365


WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 8 -- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is joining forces with the Arab Monetary Fund, a prominent regional multilateral institution, and IBCA, the leading European credit rating agency, to set up the Inter-Arab Rating Company (IARC), a holding company that will promote and set up local rating agencies in various Arab countries. IARC will have an authorized capital of US$5 million and will initially target the markets of Tunisia, Jordan, and Egypt to set up domestic rating affiliates. As local markets evolve, new credit rating agencies will be established. The IBCA Group will hold 60 percent of IARC's capital, the Abu Dhabi-based Arab Monetary Fund will hold 20 percent, with IFC holding the balance 20 percent. Launched in Washington today, the joint venture agreement was signed by Mr. Jannik Lindbaek, Executive Vice President of the International Finance Corporation, Dr. Jassim Al-Mannai, Director-General of the Arab Monetary Fund, and Mr. Robin Monro-Davies, Chief Executive Of
ficer of IBCA. "The setting up of the Inter-Arab Rating Company is in line with IFC's strategy to broaden the scope of financial markets in the Middle East and North Africa," said Mr. André Hovaguimian, Director of IFC's Central Asia, Middle East, and North Africa Department. "IARC will further the development of nascent debt markets in the region where there is growing need for better information on the credit-worthiness of local debt issuers and classification of assets," he added. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is the largest multilateral source of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing countries.