WASHINGTON, D.C., April 29—The International
Finance Corporation today signed a US$4.2 million investment in the first
new private commercial bank to have been established in Mauritania since
the restructuring of the country’s banking sector began in 1988. Générale
de Banque de Mauritanie pour l’Investissement et le Commerce (GBM) provides
a full range of modern commercial banking services with a strong focus
on project and trade finance.
GBM, headquartered in Nouakchott with a branch in Nouadibou, Mauritania’s
second largest city, uses state-of-the-art technology to provide
services to large parts of the population which previously had no access
Beyond financing the bank’s growth and project finance operations, IFC’s
involvement will enhance GBM’s credibility in the Mauritanian market and
assist in establishing rigorous management procedures, particularly in
lending policies and systems.
IFC takes a 5% stake amounting to US$200,000 equivalent in GBM’s share
capital and has provided a medium-term credit line of up to US$4 million
equivalent. GBM has a share capital of UM500 million (about US$3
million), 65% of which is held locally. The main project sponsor
is Mauritanian industrialist, Mr. Bouamatou. Banque Belgolaise, a Belgian
commercial bank with a 30% stake, provides technical assistance to the
Mauritanian management team.
This is IFC’ second investment in the past nine months in the Mauritanian
banking sector. The first investment, a US$14 million credit line
to another Mauritanian private commercial bank, has already been fully
disbursed. IFC expects to continue to promote the development of
the Mauritanian financial sector by helping to establish new,
non-bank financial institutions.
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.