Press Releases

Kenya Commercial Bank Joins IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program

In Nairobi:
Jean Philippe Prosper

Phone: + 254 20 322 6340


In Johannesburg

Houtan Bassiri

Phone: +27 11 731 3179


Nairobi, June 18, 2007 — IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, announced today that it will issue guarantees against Kenya Commercial Bank’s underlying trade transactions, covering payment risk and helping increase Kenya’s share of the global trade finance market.

The facility is part of IFC’s $1 billion Global Trade Finance Program, which was launched in 2005 to support trade with the emerging markets worldwide and promote flows of goods and services between developing countries. IFC provides guarantee coverage of bank risk in emerging markets, allowing recipients to expand their trade finance transactions within an extensive network of countries and banks and to enhance their trade finance coverage.

“IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program will increase our capacity, enabling us to take up more transactions. It will also help us develop pre-export financing products at a very competitive price,” said Martin Oduor-Otieno, Kenya Commercial Bank’s Chief Executive.  “We see this as a first step in building a long-term partnership with IFC.”

“Increased trade in Africa is important to supporting economic growth and development,” said Edward Nassim, IFC Vice President for Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. “The Global Trade Finance Program has provided over $300 million worth of guarantees to facilitate trade in Africa in just over a year. This transaction will help increase Kenya Commercial Bank’s capacity to provide trade solutions to its clients and broaden its network of international trade banks.”

Earlier this month, Kenya Commercial Bank won the inaugural Africa Investor award for the best performing company in Africa. The award followed a year of outstanding performance by the bank on the Nairobi Stock Exchange.

About IFC

IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.  IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06, IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion in funding for private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure, to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance, and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information, please visit

About the Kenya Commercial Bank Group

The Kenya Commercial Bank Group is a major player in Kenya's banking and financial sector, with an asset base of over 100 billion Kenyan shillings. Its 131 branches and 115 automated teller machines across Kenya, gives it the widest network in the country. The group began operations in 1896 with an office in Mombasa. It now has fully owned subsidiaries in southern Sudan and Tanzania, with plans to enter Uganda in late 2007 and Rwanda in 2008.