Washington, D.C., January 18, 2012—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, has obtained approval from Ghana and
the eight member countries of the West African Monetary Union to establish
local currency bond programs to strengthen domestic capital markets and
support private sector development in the region.
The approvals enable IFC to issue over
$1 billion equivalent in bonds in Ghanaian cedis and CFA francs over the
next ten years. The bonds will be sold in their respective markets to domestic
and foreign institutional investors. IFC bonds are rated Triple-A by Moody’s
Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s. Proceeds from the bonds will
fund IFC projects that support private sector development in key areas
such as infrastructure and access to finance for small and medium enterprises.
IFC will also work with local institutions to help ensure that local capital
market regulations meet international standards.
“IFC is committed to extending its
presence in Africa as a leader among financial institutions. Investors
increasingly need effective local capital markets to undertake projects
that are critical to the region’s long-term growth and help create economic
opportunities for Africans,” said Thierry Tanoh, IFC Vice President for
Latin America and the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Western Europe.
“Local-currency financing is a cornerstone
of IFC’s strategy in emerging capital markets,” said Jingdong Hua, IFC
VP and Treasurer. “Deep and liquid local currency bond markets are indispensible
in providing diversified long term funding sources for private sector companies,
including SMEs. The agreements with the government and regulator of Ghana
and the West African CFA countries will enable us to support the development
of these markets. They also allow us to help our private sector clients
mitigate foreign-exchange risk, so that they can grow their businesses
and contribute to job creation and growth in Africa.”
IFC regularly raises resources by issuing
bonds denominated in the local currency of various countries for sale in
those jurisdictions (domestic issues) or in other jurisdictions (Euromarket
or offshore issues). To date, IFC has borrowed in over 40 currencies. A
number of these are emerging-market currencies, and IFC has often been
among the first issuer to borrow in these markets.
In Africa, IFC has issued local currency
bonds in the west and central CFA zone. IFC has also gained approval for
a local currency bond issue in Kenya, and is working with the authorities
in Nigeria on a similar approval.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing
countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing
advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital
in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty
across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental
performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving
our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information,