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IFC Helps Boost Private Sector Development in Democratic Republic of Congo


Ahmed Badawi-Malik
Phone: +1 (202) 458-7148

Fax:  +1 (202) 974-4384

Email:
Abadawi@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., September 28, 2004 — The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today announced an agreement for a 15 percent equity stake in the start-up of Pro Credit Bank, a microfinance bank in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As well as credit facilities, the bank will also provide other financial services to micro and small businesses.

IFC’s $0.45 million equity investment in Pro Credit Bank underscores the Corporation’s strategy of providing post-conflict support to DRC to boost private sector development. The bank will have a strong impact on the economy, helping bolster private sector wealth and job creation, accelerating the business growth of target enterprises, and boosting confidence in the banking sector.


Pro Credit Bank will also help strengthen microfinance banking in DRC by introducing commercially-oriented techniques: along with the equity investment, IFC is also providing a $0.5 million technical assistance grant to the bank for institution and capacity-building. Other foreign equity investors in Pro-Credit Bank include Stichting DOEN of the Netherlands, and Germany’s Internationale Projekt Consult and Internationale Micro Investitionen – the latter in which IFC has an equity stake.


Richard Ranken, IFC director for Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “IFC is committed to supporting and strengthening the financial sector in DRC to promote the development and growth of entrepreneurs in the micro and small business sectors.” He added, “IFC is very pleased to support Pro Credit Bank Congo, which we hope will quickly become the country’s leading provider of credit and banking services to micro and small businesses.”


Jyrki Koskelo, IFC director for Global Financial Markets, noted, “This project is a good  example of how a group of like-minded investors can support access to finance for low-income people in Africa. This is a significant development in the growth of the commercial microfinance sector in Africa.”


Note to Editors:
for another example on how IFC has helped develop microfinance institutions in post-conflict countries in Sub-Sahara Africa, see:
IFC Helps Private Sector Boost Incomes and Job Opportunities in Angola

The mission of IFC (
www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.