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IFC Invests in New Fund to Support Small and Medium Businesses, Spur Growth Across North Africa


In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +20 2461 4230
E-mail: RMustafa@ifc.org

Cairo, October 12, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing €15 million in a private equity fund that will invest in small and medium enterprises in Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia, helping expand access to finance and spur economic growth.

The €96 million Maghreb Private Equity Fund III is being launched by Tuninvest, a leading fund manager in the Middle East and North Africa. The fund  will invest in lines of business such as packaging, pharmaceuticals, financial services, agribusiness, and consumer goods.

“Small and medium businesses are essential to create jobs, yet only 20 percent in the region have formal access to finance,” said Joumana Cobein, IFC Principal Country Officer in Morocco. “The fund will support such small companies, helping them expand and grow. It will also boost investor confidence in the Middle East and North Africa by demonstrating the strong investment potential of the region.”  

IFC will work closely with the fund managers to ensure that they adopt corporate governance best practices, as well as environmental and social standards. The fund’s strategy will incorporate an innovative climate change component, with approximately 10 to 15 percent of the invested capital to be deployed in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, a first for a fund targeting small businesses in North Africa.

This investment builds on IFC’s relationship with Tuninvest. Five years ago, IFC invested €15 million in the fund’s predecessor, Maghreb Private Equity Fund II. IFC’s participation in the launch of the new fund will help Tuninvest attract commercial investors in subsequent closings, as was the case with IFC’s investment in the previous fund.

Amid political, civil, and economic uncertainty in the Middle East and North Africa, IFC has invested $1.35 billion in the region so far this year, and committed to eight advisory programs worth over $6 million. In addition, IFC and the World Bank this summer launched a $500 million facility that will make it easier for micro, small, and medium enterprises to access financing.


About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

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