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IFC Global Trade Finance Program Expands Its Reach in Jordan


In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: 202 – 24619140 ext.306
E-mail: rmustafa@ifc.org


Amman, March 7, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that Union Bank has joined its Global Trade Finance Program as an issuing bank, making it the third in Jordan, along with Capital Bank and Bank of Jordan.

The IFC Global Trade Finance Program supports trade with emerging markets worldwide and promotes the flow of goods and services between developing countries.  IFC provides partial or full guarantees against underlying trade instruments and covers the payment risk of participating issuing banks. This allows issuing banks to increase the volume and value of trade transactions, with enhanced tenors and access to competitive pricing terms.

Expressing his appreciation for the partnership with IFC, Issam Salfiti, Chairman and General Manager of Union Bank, noted that it will help expand and enhance the bank’s network of correspondent banks to serve its clients better. Salfiti also confirmed the bank’s plan to expand trade finance activities as part of its growth strategy.

Ahmed Attiga, IFC Resident Representative in Jordan, said, “We are very pleased to welcome Union Bank to our trade finance network and to initiate risk coverage in Jordan.  The IFC Global Trade Finance Program will help the bank scale up its trade finance business and enhance its ability to provide efficient trade solutions for corporate clients.  The program supports export-oriented companies, a key objective for IFC in Jordan.”

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About Union Bank
Union Bank, formerly the Arab Finance Corporation, was incorporated and registered in 1978 as a public shareholding company in Jordan, with paid up capital of 2.13 million dinars held by Jordanian and other Arab investors. In 1991, the company transitioned to an investment bank, under the name of Union Bank for Savings and Investment.  Since then, its capital has increased several times, reaching 95 million dinars in 2007, and its name has changed to Union Bank.  Today, its total assets exceed a billion dinars, and total shareholder equity has reached 215 million dinars. The bank has 18 branches, in addition to the Ramallah branch. For more information, visit www.unionbankjo.com.