Washington, D.C., December 23, 2005—The
International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, will provide a seven-year loan of up to $20 million to Diamond
Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading banks. The bank will use the loan to
increase its medium- to long-term funding for local small and medium enterprises.
The loan raises IFC’s total investment in Diamond Bank to $70 million,
including a $20 million trade finance facility.
Jyrki Koskelo, IFC’s Director for Global Financial Markets, said, “The
investment in Diamond Bank marks the launch of IFC’s financial sector
strategy in Nigeria, which is to build strategic partnerships with select
financial institutions and to help these partners make improvements in
corporate governance, operations, and other key areas.”
Richard Ranken, IFC’s Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, noted, “This investment
demonstrates IFC’s support for the ongoing financial sector reforms in
Nigeria. This transaction consolidates our partnership with Diamond Bank
and helps implement our strategy for Nigeria’s financial markets.”
Pascal Dozie, Chairman of Diamond Bank, said, “Diamond Bank will benefit
from our continuing relationship with IFC to improve corporate governance
and acquire the skills, systems, and procedures that are critical for ensuring
commercial, social, and environmental sustainability.”
Diamond Bank was established in 1991 and is one of Nigeria’s largest and
most successful banks. With 75 branches around the country and a capital
base in excess of $200 million, it provides a full range of banking services
to local small and medium enterprises and corporate clients.
The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the
World Bank Group and 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.