—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
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.