Johannesburg, June 2, 2006—The
International Finance Corporation today signed a US$ 75 million multicountry
loan facility with Standard Bank Group. The facility will provide long
term subordinated loans qualifying as Tier II capital to Standard Bank
Group banking subsidiaries in Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya,
Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The loans,
which are subject to requisite prior regulatory approvals for Tier II compliance,
will enable Standard Bank to strengthen its capital base and expand operations
across Sub-Saharan Africa.
“IFC’s multicountry loan facility to Standard Bank Group offers a unique
opportunity to foster a strong partnership between one of the largest African
banking groups and IFC,” said IFC Executive Vice-President Lars Thunell,
who signed the multicountry facility on behalf of IFC. “By providing the
loans to the local SBG subsidiaries, IFC will help expand the group’s
operations in the region. We also recognize the global potential for this
partnership with Standard Bank Group, as they continue to expand in emerging
markets beyond Africa.”
“This facility supports our strategy of growth in emerging markets,“
said Standard Bank Group’s Chief Executive Officer Jacko Maree. “IFC
is a welcome partner because it shares our commitment to high standards
and promoting improved financial services to businesses across Africa.”
The multicountry facility is expected to expand credit availability to
the private sector, promote tier II capital as an effective instrument
in strengthening bank capital, support the transfer of product knowledge
and expertise across the Standard Bank Group’s African network, and increase
competition in the banking sectors in several countries. It is believed
that a strong financial system plays a particularly important role in the
creation of a well-functioning private sector; bringing about competition,
domestic and international market integration, economic growth, and ultimately,
About Standard Bank Group
The Standard Bank Group is the largest South African financial services
group ranked by assets and earnings. The Group had total assets of US $119
billion as of December 31, 2005, and return on equity for the year ended
December 31, 2005 of 25.2%. It employed more than 40,000 staff worldwide
(including those employed by Liberty Life, the Life assurance subsidiary
of Standard Bank Group). The Group has a wide representation spanning 17
African countries and 21 other countries concentrated in emerging markets.
Standard Bank Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange.
The International Finance Corporation is increasing its overall activity
in the financial markets sector in Sub-Saharan Africa, targeting significant
volumes in investments and technical assistance over the next four years.
Key areas are financing small and medium enterprises through banks and
other intermediaries, trade finance, microfinance, and housing finance.
IFC is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered
in Washington, D.C. IFC coordinates its activities with the other
institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent.
Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively
determine its policies.
The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment
in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve
people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing
world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps
clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical
assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding
in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own
funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140
developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was
$19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants
in loan syndications. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.