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
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.