Beirut, Lebanon, September 17, 2015
-Banque Libano-Francaise (BLF) provided $180 million in funding for green
projects that are helping Lebanese companies and home owners cut costs,
spur growth, and protect the environment, thanks to its partnership with
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.
IFC partnered with BLF in 2011 to help the bank increase awareness on the
protection of the environment, build a knowledge base for its staff and
personnel and expand its loan offerings for corporations, schools and home
owners that want to invest in eco-friendly projects. BLF has now provided
several loans to Lebanese businesses, totaling over $180 million. They
include the Arab Printing Press, a Beirut-based printing company with 130
workers, which embarked on a milestone photovoltaic project with technical
assistance from IFC and bank loans from BLF, and now produces its electricity
from solar panels.
Maurice Iskandar, Head of International Division and Member of the Executive
Committee at BLF, said: “As a contributor to the Lebanese economy and
to the private sector, we believe we can play a major role in promoting
a socially responsible green attitude by actively participating in shaping
environmental policies and communicating our ‘green’ vision, in addition
to developing eco-friendly products and services within a long term vision
towards sustainable banking”.
BLF was the first commercial bank in MENA to participate in IFC’s sustainable
energy finance program. The IFC team provided comprehensive advice including
technical expertise, a detailed market assessment, tools adapted to the
local context, and training to allow the bank to reach out to entrepreneurs
and scale-up its sustainability-related lending.
“Promoting resource efficiency is a key part of IFC’s strategy in Lebanon
and the region,” said Thomas Jacobs, IFC Principal Country Officer in
Lebanon. “Our aim is to expand access to finance for projects that will
save, or promote the efficient use of, energy and other resources, and
help protect the environment at the same time.
BLF, a long-term partner of IFC, was the first bank in the region to join
IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program, and is consistently one of the most
active users of the facility.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working
with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise,
and influence to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our
long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion,
helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort
to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information,
Banque Libano-Française (BLF) is a leading Lebanese bank with USD 11.3
billion in total assets and USD 996 million in consolidated shareholders'
equity as at December 31, 2014. BLF operates in Lebanon through a network
of 54 branches in addition to 141 ATMs. The international footprint of
BLF Group includes subsidiaries in France and Cyprus (Banque SBA), Switzerland
(LF Finance Suisse), Syria (Bank Al-Sharq), Representative Offices in United
Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi) and Nigeria (Lagos), and a branch in Iraq (Baghdad).