Press Releases


L. Joseph
June 10, 1998
Phone: (202) 473-7700
Fax: (202) 974-4384

—will provide long-term financing for new and expansion projects—

HARARE, ZIMBABWE, June 10, 1998  --- The International Finance Corporation today signed an agreement to invest US$15 million in the First Merchant Bank of Zimbabwe Limited (FMB) to provide long-term foreign exchange resources to Zimbabwean export-oriented enterprises.  The financing should lead to new and expansion projects in the services, tourism, manufacturing, horticulture, and agro-industrial sectors.

Established in 1956, FMB is Zimbabwe’s largest merchant bank and a leading financial institution listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.  Mr. Cesare Calari, Director of IFC’s sub-Saharan Africa Department noted that the project would help to strengthen FMB’s position as an important long-term lender to local private enterprises.

The agreement was signed in Harare by Mr. Douglas Munatsi, Managing Director, First Merchant Bank, and Mr. Bahadurali Jetha, Manager, Capital Markets in IFC’s sub-Saharan Africa Department.  Mr. Ray Feltoe, CEO of FMB, Mr. Gareth Ivorian-Jones, IFC Acting Regional Representative in Harare, and Mr. Mengistu Alemayehu, IFC Investment Officer were also present at the signing.

IFC supports the development of Zimbabwe’s private sector through investments and advisory services in agribusiness, tourism, financial services, small business, and mining.  To date, IFC has invested over $100 million in more than 30 projects in Zimbabwe.

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.