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IFC Investment, New Toolkit to Help Develop Mortgage Lending in Ghana


In Accra:
Sanjiva Senanayake

Phone: +(233) 21 214600

E-mail:
SSenanayake@ifc.org

In Johannesburg:

Houtan Bassiri

Phone: +(27) 11 731 3179

E-mail:
HBassiri@ifc.org

In Washington:

Lotte Pang
Phone: +(202) 458-0952
E-mail:
LPang@ifc.org


Accra, August 15, 2007—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today that it will invest in three banks as part of its Ghana Mortgage Market Initiative, which is designed to boost residential mortgage lending and provide better access to housing finance for Ghanaians. The banks will also be the first institutions globally to begin using the innovative IFC Mortgage Toolkit.

IFC will lend $25 million to Ecobank Ghana, Fidelity Bank, and Merchant Bank Ghana. The senior debt of up to 15 years will be denominated in U.S. dollars or Ghanaian cedis, representing the first local currency financing provided by IFC in Ghana. The loans will be used to increase the banks’ mortgage lending activities, as well as provide housing solutions for about 500 families and over 3,000 individuals.

Edward Effah, Fidelity Bank’s Managing Director, said, “This IFC investment will make mortgage lending more fluid, creating opportunities for Ghanaians.”

Frances Adu-Mante, Ecobank Ghana’s Executive Director, Retail Banking, said, “The fact that our valued customers can secure longer-term mortgage financing is very important to us. We are happy to partner with IFC to enhance the scope of financial intermediaries in Ghana.”


Jyrki Koskelo, IFC Director for Global Financial Markets, said, “Developing the Ghanaian housing sector is vital for the growth of the country’s financial markets and economy. The IFC Ghana Mortgage Market Initiative supports our efforts to scale up housing finance in Sub-Saharan Africa. Providing 15-year loans in local currency is also a landmark for IFC.”


IFC, in partnership with SECO, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland, is already providing advice to the three banks on developing and implementing standard mortgage products, origination and servicing policies, and industry guidelines. It is also working with other key stakeholders to address legal, regulatory, and constraints to growth of mortgage lending and investing in Ghana.


To support its efforts, IFC has developed a mortgage toolkit to help lenders build internal capacity, improve risk management, and facilitate more lending for mortgage finance. The IFC Mortgage Toolkit provides guidance on introducing new mortgage products, helping lenders establish standard loan documents and implement key steps for originating, processing,closing, and servicing mortgage loans.


All firms in Ghana receiving IFC support for housing finance will be required to use the toolkit. Widespread use of the toolkit is expected to lead to broader acceptance of standard mortgage lending practices.


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing capital in the international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY06, IFC committed $8.3 billion, including syndications, to 284 investments in 66 developing countries. For more information, please visit
www.ifc.org.

About Ecobank Ghana Limited

Ecobank Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of Ecobank Transnational International, started operations in 1990. It holds a universal banking license and provides an array of financial solutions, including consumer, commercial, and investment banking. Nonbank financial services are also offered by three wholly owned subsidiaries: Ecobank Investment Managers Limited, Ecobank Stockbrokers Limited, and Ecobank Leasing Company Limited. The bank is well positioned in the corporate market, with a varied client base.


About Fidelity Bank

Fidelity Bank was established in 1998 as Fidelity Discount House. It obtained a universal banking license in June 2006, making it the 22nd bank to be licensed by the Bank of Ghana. Fidelity Bank has built on the customer base to which its predecessor delivered services such as investment management and short-term working capital loans.


About Merchant Bank

Merchant Bank began operations in March 1972 as the first merchant bank in Ghana. Since becoming a universal bank in 2005, it has been one of the fastest growing in the country, driven by deposit growth and its focus on the SME sector. It is the second-largest privately owned domestic bank in Ghana.