WASHINGTON, D.C., September 28, 1999 — The
International Finance Corporation signed an agreement today to provide
a US$5 million loan to one of Zimbabwe's most prominent financial institutions,
udc Holdings Limited, Zimbabwe, which specializes in leasing and term lending.
IFC has a longstanding relationship with udc, first with an equity investment
in 1984, followed by two loans worth a total of $12 million that have now
been fully repaid. The latest loan provides long-term financing so that
udc can further expand its term lending activities, which in turn will
support expansion projects by Zimbabwean companies involved in agriculture,
mining, tourism, and transportation.
IFC Director for the sub-Saharan Africa region, Cesare Calari, said the
loan will significantly lower the debt servicing costs for udc's export-oriented
clients, making their investment opportunities more feasible.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private
sector development 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.