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IFC EXTENDS US$15 MILLION TO MUSLIM COMMERCIAL BANK FIRST IFC FINANCING OF A PRIVATIZED COMPANY


Bibi Kasrai


WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 22 -- The Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) will receive from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) a US$15 million credit line for onlending to small and medium-scale Pakistani companies, with a view to supporting export oriented projects in particular. "This loan constitutes the first of a number of initiatives IFC intends to undertake to support improved efficiency and capacity expansion in recently privatized companies," said John Pott, the IFC Resident Representative in Pakistan. The IFC line of credit is part of a broader IFC effort to help Pakistan establish a range of private sector financial institutions. Previously, IFC has helped to establish and finance Pakistan's first leasing and housing finance companies, an investment bank, a discount house, and a stock brokerage company. MCB is now the largest private sector bank in Pakistan and was the first bank to be sold to the private sector by the Government of Pakistan. As part of the privatization process in April 1991, the maj
ority of the bank's shares were sold to the private sector and management control was transferred to the National Group. Since then the bank has experienced significant growth matched with improvements in efficiency and overall performance. IFC is the private sector member of the World Bank Group and the largest source of loan and equity financing for private sector companies in developing countries. (30)