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IFC PARTICIPATES IN PRIVATIZATION OF A COMMERCIAL BANK IN BURKINA FASO


Brigid Janssen
Phone: (202) 458-4698
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: bjanssen@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C.  May 7, 1998 - IFC signed today an investment agreement that marks the final step in the privatization of the Banque pour le Financement du Commerce et des Investissements du Burkina (BFCIB).  IFC agreed to purchase a 10% equity stake from the government of Burkina, resulting in the reduction of the Burkinabe government’s shareholding from 66% to 15%.

Along with the 10 % IFC block, a 41% block was sold to a foreign investor consortium led by Société Générale, France’s largest private commercial bank.  The remaining 34% shareholding is held by Burkinabe private shareholders.


The privatized bank, headquartered in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, will be renamed Société Générale de Banques au Burkina (SGBB) and managed under a technical assistance agreement with Société Générale, which already has four affiliates in West Africa.  Drawing on its expertise and international network, Société Générale plans to expand the bank’s operations and to upgrade it into a modern commercial bank providing high quality products and services.


His Excellency Mr.Tertius Zongo, Minister of Finance of Burkina Faso, Mr. Alain Plusquellec, Head of Relations with Multilateral Institutions at Société Générale and Mr. Jannik Lindbaek, Vice-President of IFC signed the investment agreement.


Mr. Zongo declared that "IFC had played an important neutral broker role between his government and the consortium of foreign investors and IFC’s presence in the shareholding will further enhance the credibility of the privatized bank".


IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters economic growth in the developing world by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in the international financial markets and providing technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.