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IFC Financing of Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank Will Help Frontier and Emerging Markets


In Cairo:
K. Aftab Ahmed
Phone: +20 2 461 9140
E-mail: Kaahmed@ifc.org

Riham Mustafa
Phone: +20 2 461 9140
E-mail: Rmustafa@ifc.org

In Washington, D.C.:
Rita Jupe
Phone: +1(202) 458-8967
E-mail: Rjupe@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., November 22, 2006— The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will provide $240 million in loan and equity financing to Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank to support its expansion into frontier and emerging markets of the Middle East and North Africa. This is IFC’s largest investment in the region to date.

IFC’s financing, which includes $200 million in a tier II convertible long-term subordinated loan, will help Ahli United Bank in its successfully pursued strategy of becoming a significant financial group, with a broader network of banks and financial institutions in the region’s developing countries, including Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Oman, and Yemen. IFC will also subscribe up to 10 percent equity (up to $40 million) in Delta International Bank of Egypt, which AUB Group recently acquired, through a future capital increase.

Michael Essex, IFC’s Director for Middle East and North Africa, said, "IFC is pleased to enter into a long term partnership with Ahli United Bank as they expand their presence across the region and create a network of banks which  will provide a much needed channel for private sector investment from resource-rich Gulf Cooperation Council markets to lower-income countries.”

Hamad Al Marzouq, Ahli United Bank’s Deputy Chairman, said, “We are pleased to begin a long term relationship with IFC, and we look forward to IFC’s partnership as we expand through the region and diversify our financial services products.”

Jyrki Koskelo, IFC’s Director of Global Financial Markets, said, “The regional expansion of AUB will support trade, financial flows, remittances, tourism, and investments from the resource-surplus Gulf Cooperation Council countries into parts of the region that need economic growth through productive private sector investment.”

Adel El-Labban, Ahli United Bank’s Group CEO and Managing Director, said, “The IFC investment is an important step in AUB’s ongoing plans to expand and diversify its capital and shareholding base and opens various opportunities for future regional cooperation.”

About IFC

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private enterprise in developing countries. IFC finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to businesses and governments. From its founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion of its own funds for private sector investments in the developing world and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. With the support of funding from donors, it has also provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and advisory services. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About Ahli United Bank

Ahli United Bank is a fully fledged commercial and investment banking group providing wealth management, retail, corporate, treasury, offshore, and private banking services. The group’s businesses consist of the operations in Bahrain, a wholly owned subsidiary in the UK, and subsidiaries / associates in Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq, and Egypt. Overall, the AUB Group, through its subsidiaries and associates, operates through a network of 78 branch offices and employs more than 2,800 people.  Ahli United Bank has an asset base of $19.1 billion, shareholders equity of $1.8 billion and net profits of $164.3 million as of September 30, 2006.  Ahli United Bank is publicly listed on the Bahrain and Kuwait Stock Exchanges with more than 3,500 shareholders. For more information, visit
www.ahliunited.com.