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IFC INVESTS IN MAURITANIA’S FIRST NEW PRIVATE BANK


L. Joseph
Phone: (202) 473-7700
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: ljoseph@ifc.org


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 to banking.


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.