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IFC APPROVES FIRST INVESTMENT IN A JORDANIAN BANK


Jannette Esguerra
Phone: (202) 458-5204
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: jesguerra@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 8, 2000 - The International Finance Corporation aims to spur modernization of domestic commercial banking services in Jordan and foster regional banking relationships throughout the Middle East with an investment in Middle East Investment Bank (MEIB).
IFC is investing up to US$4.4 million of convertible bonds and equity options in MEIB, as part of a larger recapitalization, restructuring, and management program arranged and led by Société Générale Libano-Européene de Banque, a Lebanon-based affiliate of Société Générale.
The recapitalization will allow MEIB to meet the minimum capital required by the Central Bank of Jordan. The restructuring program will provide MEIB with management and technical expertise, introduce a wide range of retail banking products, and upgrade corporate services, including foreign trade enhancing products and structured and project finance. Other services such as leasing and investment banking will be launched in the next few years.
IFC's investment in MEIB and the upgrading of MEIB's services to international standards promotes efficient financial intermediation in Jordan which will, in turn, sharpen competition and stimulate the development of the private sector, said Sami Haddad, IFC Director of the Middle East and North Africa department.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.