Press Releases

IFC and Lebanon’s BLC Bank Partner to Expand Trade Finance

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +202 24 619 140
Fax: +202 24 619 145

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 FRANSABANK.

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.  

About IFC
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