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CIB Egypt Admitted as First Middle East and North Africa Member of the Global Banking Alliance for Women


In Washington:
Lucie Giraud
Email: lgiraud@ifc.org
Tel: 001 202 458 4662        

In Cairo:
Carmen Niethammer
Email : cniethammer @ifc.org
Tel: 0020 2 461 9140/45/50


Cairo, Egypt, June 12, 2006 – The Global Banking Alliance for Women accepted today Egypt’s Commercial and International Bank (CIB) as its first member from the Middle East and North Africa. In welcoming CIB, the alliance recognized the bank’s leadership in the retail women’s market and its new partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, to develop a women entrepreneurs program.

The full-membership signing ceremony took place at the 2006 Global Summit of Women in Cairo in the presence of HE. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Egypt’s Minister of Investment.

“Women entrepreneurs have the potential to create much needed jobs for our country,” said Dr. Mohieldin. “I applaud CIB Egypt for their vision and commitment to Egypt’s economic growth and development.”

Mr. Mohamed Ashmawy, CIB’s First Vice-Chairman and Managing Director noted, “We at CIB consider becoming women’s bank of choice as a long-term strategy to meet the demand for tailored financial services by an ever increasing number of women entrepreneurs in Egypt. To this end, we see our partnership with IFC and the Global Banking Alliance for Women as a strategic opportunity to further promote women’s entrepreneurship in Egypt and the Middle East region overall.”

Mary Porter Peschka, IFC’s Senior Operations Manager,  Private Enterprise Partnership, Middle East and North Africa (PEP-MENA), said “As CIB’s partner, we at IFC look forward to working closely with CIB to further enhance its ability to reach women customers – especially women owners of small and medium enterprises.”

About the Global Banking Alliance for Women
The Global Banking Alliance for Women is a consortium of best practices banks that leverage the women’s market for profit as well as social good. It was founded by a group of banks recognized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for their role in advancing the growth of women in business worldwide. The goal of the Global Banking Alliance is to accelerate women’s wealth creation, by sharing best practices among financial institutions worldwide. Since 2005, the Secretariat of the Global Banking Alliance for Women is housed at the IFC’s headquarters, within its Gender Entrepreneurship Markets (GEM) unit.

About CIB

Established in 1975 as a joint venture between National Bank of Egypt (51%) and Chase Manhattan Bank, CIB today is the largest private sector bank in Egypt with a market share of 5% of the total deposits of the banking sector. CIB – also one of the main corporate sponsors of the 2006 Globewomen Summit – has a unique edge in the financial products market by having tailored a rich menu of retail asset products to meet women’s needs. It offers a special “Businesswomen’s Club” to discuss investment options and provides information-sharing seminars, a women’s credit card entitled “Heya” (the Arabic word for “She), and sponsorship of charity events like the Run for Breast Cancer Cure.

About the IFC
IFC’s GEM program is a new cross-cutting initiative to mainstream gender issues throughout IFC operations, while at the same time helping to better leverage the untapped potential of women in emerging markets. Launched in December 2004, GEM introduces a systematic focus on gender as a comparative advantage for clients.

The International Finance Corporation created the GEM initiative in December 2004 to address the economic inefficiencies and social inequities that arise when aspiring businesswomen are prevented from realizing their full potential because of gender inequality.
IFC is headquartered in Washington, D.C. IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent. Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition 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 FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.  For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.