Beirut, Lebanon, December 19, 2018—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement to provide
$100 million in debt financing to leading Lebanese bank Societe Generale
de Banque au Liban (SGBL), to boost access to finance for small and medium
enterprises (SMEs) and help develop climate finance.
IFC’s financing includes a loan of
$57.16 million for IFC’s own account and $42.84 million mobilized through
IFC’s Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program (MCPP). IFC’s advisory team
will also work with the SGBL to help enhance its capacity to finance climate
change projects and help mitigate climate change.
“By having access to IFC’s long-term
financing facility, SGBL will be able to support its growth strategy and
to better serve its clients’ needs by extending the maturities of our
products offering. This in turn will help strengthen our country’s economy”
said Antoun Sehnaoui, SGBL’s Chairman and CEO.
SMEs represent the backbone of Lebanese
economy, making up about 95 percent of total formal enterprises and employing
roughly half the working population, but the sector remains financially
underserved. With 70 branches, the majority outside Beirut, SGBL is well
placed to reach underserved SMEs across Lebanon.
“Our work in Lebanon focuses on strengthening
the financial sector by expanding access to finance for smaller businesses
and helping to support knowledge exchange and innovation,” said Mouayed
Makhlouf, IFC’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“SGBL is a long-term IFC partner and we hope we will be able to
jointly help bridge the widening SME and climate finance gaps.”
IFC has been active in Lebanon’s financial
sector, supporting a number of banks as part of its strategy to promote
sustainable economic growth in fragile and conflict-affected states, boost
access to finance, and help smaller firms create much needed jobs.
IFC—a sister organization of the World
Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work
with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise,
and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas
of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in
long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the
private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For
more information, visit www.ifc.org