Washington, D.C./Lagos, June 28, 2005
– The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the
World Bank Group, signed an agreement to provide a seven-year loan of up
to $30 million to Diamond Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading banks. This
second loan raises IFC’s total investment in Diamond Bank to $50 million.
The bank will use it to increase its medium- to long-term funding
for local private investment clients.
Jyrki Koskelo, IFC’s Director for Global Financial Markets, said, “IFC’s
second loan to Diamond Bank is a signal of our confidence in this firm
and in Nigeria’s financial sector. Diamond Bank has played an important
role in expanding banking services in Nigeria, and we are confident it
can continue this role going forward,” he added.
Richard Ranken, Director of IFC’s Sub-Saharan Africa Department, noted,
“This investment is a testament to our successful relationship with Diamond
Bank. It consolidates our partnership in anticipation of a new era for
Nigeria’s banking sector.” He added that the bank has played a critical
role in developing excellence in banking services throughout Nigeria.
“We welcome this further loan from IFC, which will help us strengthen
our core business in the corporate and commercial segments,” said Pascal
Dozie, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Bank. “This
is a critical period for the Nigerian financial sector, and our well-established
partnership with IFC will be important in helping us compete effectively
in the future.”
Established in 1991, Diamond Bank is one of the largest and most successful
banks in Nigeria. With 53 branches around the country, it provides
a full range of banking services to local small and medium enterprises
and corporate clients. As of April 2005, Diamond Bank’s total assets and
total shareholders’ funds stood at $950 million and $160 million, respectively.
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in transition economies,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in the emerging markets, 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.