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IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program Announces First Chinese Participant


In Beijing
Wenqin Zhu                                                        

Phone: +86 10 5860 3130                                

Email:
 wzhu@ifc.org

In Washington, D.C.

Rita Jupe                                                        

Phone: +1 202 458 8967                                        

Email:  
rjupe@ifc.org

In Hong Kong

Andrew Mak

Phone: +852 2509 8110

Email:  
amak@ifc.org


Beijing, October 13, 2006 — The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today announced China Construction Bank Corporation as the first bank in China to join its Global Trade Finance Program.

Through the program, IFC provides guarantees covering bank risk related to underlying trade transactions for up to three years. The program is aimed at supporting trade with emerging markets worldwide and promoting flows of goods and services between developing countries.

Bonnie Galat, IFC’s head of marketing and sales for the program, said, “IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program is a natural fit for Chinese banks with intermediate increasing levels of trade, much of which is destined for other emerging markets where IFC knows the risk and can facilitate the transaction.”

It is expected that the program will benefit primarily midsize private Chinese exporters. It will help these companies export to some of the more difficult markets.  It also will allow them to offer competitive export financing terms and provide them with a guarantee of payment.

William Haworth, East Asia Regional Manager for IFC’s Global Financial Markets Department, said, “Promoting trade finance and especially South-South trade finance across emerging markets is one of IFC’s strategic priorities in China.  We believe Chinese banks’ participation in the Global Trade Finance Program will facilitate trade among developing countries.”

Mr. Jiang Jianhua, Deputy General Manager of China Construction Bank’s International Business Department, said, “We are pleased to be working with IFC and participating in the Global Trade Finance Program, which will enable us to expand our global network of trade partners within its growing set of participating countries and banks.”

The Global Trade Finance Program offers confirming banks partial or full guarantees to cover payment risk on banks in emerging markets. These guarantees are transaction-specific and apply to transactions involving letters of credit, trade-related promissory notes and bills of exchange, bid and performance bonds, and advance payment guarantees or credits to suppliers.

The program began operations in September 2005.  To date it has booked 500 transactions with an average length of six months and a total volume of more than $455 million. About 80 percent of the deals have supported the small and medium enterprise sector, which is a vital source of job creation and a strategic focus for IFC. Some 37 percent were for transactions between emerging markets participants. For China, the program has supported 56 export transactions through North American and European confirming banks. With the inclusion of China Construction Bank in the Global Trade Finance Program, IFC expects to finance more Chinese exports.

The program has 36 issuing banks (for example in Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Kenya, Lebanon, Malta, Mauritania, Moldova, Mozambique, Mongolia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Tanzania, and Uganda), and 82 international confirming banks.  For more information, visit
www.ifc.org/gtfp.

About IFC

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private enterprise in developing countries.  IFC finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to businesses and governments.  From its founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion of its own funds and mobilized an additional $24 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries.  With the support of funding from donors, it has also provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and advisory services.  For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About CCB

China Construction Bank Corporation is one of the big four commercial banks in China. It provides a comprehensive range of commercial banking products and services.  As of June 30, 2006, CCB’s total assets amounted to RMB5.1 trillion and post-tax profit reached RMB23.2 billion, up 13 percent over the same period last year. CCB successfully listed its shares on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong in October 2005 and became the first of the big four Chinese commercial banks to list outside mainland China.  For more information, visit
www.ccb.com.