WASHINGTON, D.C., May 6, 1999 --- The
International Finance Corporation today
signed an agreement to advise the Government of Ecuador on restructuring
and privatizing state-owned enterprises, including power generation and
distribution, telecommunications, hydrocarbons, airports, postal services
and possibly the water and sanitation sector.
IFC will advise on the strategic direction of the privatization program
and coordinate and oversee the entire privatization process. IFC will work
with private investment banks that will execute individual privatization
deals. IFC has extensive experience in implementing privatization transactions
in a wide range of sectors as well as in advising on the more macro-strategic
issues surrounding a broad restructuring and privatization program. Under
the mandate, IFC will draw on its transactional and private sector investment
experience as well as the public sector experience of the entire World
The launch of the privatization program in Ecuador reflects significant
progress in reform-oriented legislation. Congressional debate culminated
in April with the passage of the Law on the Reform of the Public Finances,
which opened the way to greater currency stability, a more manageable budget
deficit and agreement on loan packages from multilateral institutions amounting
to some $1.4 billion.
A multisector Privatization Law is expected to be presented to Congress
shortly, providing the framework for private sector participation in electricity,
telecom, hydrocarbons, airports, roads, water and sewerage and railways.
Alvaro Guerrero, President of the Ecuadorian privatization agency CONAM
who signed on the government's behalf, said that the decision to retain
IFC as global advisor to the privatization program was based on IFC's track
record in safeguarding the public interest and bringing impartiality and
transparency to the process.
Assaad Jabre, IFC Vice President added that IFC welcomes being part of
a historic modernization and privatization process that will provide a
solid basis for sustainable long-term economic growth.
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 goverments and businesses. IFC has worldwide experience in the
privatization of state-owned entities and plays a key role in providing
comfort to prospective private investors while ensuring protection of the
host country's interests.