WASHINGTON, D.C., October 21, 1998 -- The
International Finance Corporation will provide financing of up to US$11.5
million to Lebanon’s Idarat Investment Corporation to help it develop
two hotels and four restaurants in Lebanon.
Before the outbreak of the war in 1975, tourism was a flourishing industry
in Lebanon, accounting for 20 percent of GDP. The war heavily damaged
the tourism industry, especially quality hotels in Beirut’s hotel district.
Today, tourism represents only 7 percent of GDP but is picking up, under
Lebanon’s reconstruction program.
Idarat is a diversified tourism company holding interests in several hotels
and restaurants in Lebanon. Since its creation in the late 1980s,
Idarat has grown substantially to become the prime provider of tourism
facilities in the country.
IFC’s financing consists of an equity investment of US$1.5 million and
a loan for IFC’s account of US$10 million. The financing will allow
Idarat to expand and sustain the high growth it has experienced in the
past few years.
Mr. Mohsen Khalil, IFC’s Director for Central Asia, Middle East, and North
Africa, said at the signing in Washington that IFC’s financing would provide
much-needed long-term funding, which is crucial to the rehabilitation of
this capital-intensive sector. He added that Idarat has demonstrated
the ability to provide high quality and innovative services in the hospitality
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.