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
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
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
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.