Beirut, Lebanon April 28, 2010 –
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that it will partner
with Lebanon’s BLC Bank to help increase trade finance for businesses
in Lebanon, expanding economic activity in the region.
Under the partnership, BLC Bank becomes an issuing bank as part of the
IFC Global Trade Finance Program, which supports trade with emerging markets
and promotes the flow of goods and services between developing countries.
BLC Bank, a subsidiary of FRANSABANK Group, is the fourth partner bank
to join the program after Banque Libano-Française, Bank of Beirut, and
Maurice Sehnaoui, Chairman and General
Manager of BLC Bank SAL, said, "Joining IFC's Global Trade Finance
Program and its global network of banks will further enhance and help BLC
Bank expand its relationship with correspondent banks across the world
and help us serve the growing trade finance needs of our clients.”
Thomas Jacobs, IFC Principal Country
Officer for Lebanon, said, “Working with BLC Bank is in line with IFC's
strategy in Lebanon to expand access of finance to the corporate sector
with a special focus to small and medium enterprises."
BLC Bank will use the facility to increase
trade finance offerings to expand their trade finance transactions within
an extensive network of countries and banks thus supporting their clients,
including small and medium enterprises that help drive job creation.
IFC provides partial or full guarantees
against underlying trade instruments and covers the payment risk of participating
issuing banks. This allows issuing banks to expand their trade finance
transactions within an extensive network of countries and banks to enhance
their trade finance coverage.
IFC has been active supporter of Lebanon’s
financial sector, providing trade finance lines to a number of banks and
investment and advisory services. IFC has provided trade guarantees worth
more than $482 million to Lebanese banks since the program’s inception
in fiscal year 2006. In fiscal year 2009, IFC committed over $184 million
in trade finance to Lebanese banks.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk
mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing
countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.