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IFC Invests in Bank Audi to Expand Trade and Investment across MENA


In Beirut:
Sana Sabra                                        
Phone: +961 1 977 496                                        
E-mail: sana.sabra@banqueaudi.com

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +20 2 2461 4230
E-mail: RMustafa@ifc.org

In Washington, D.C.:
Serene Jweied
Phone: +1 (202) 473-8764
E-mail: SJweied@ifc.org


Beirut, Lebanon, March 7, 2014—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the IFC Capitalization Fund, managed by the IFC Asset Management Company, have signed agreements to provide subordinated loans of $150 million to Bank Audi, the largest bank in Lebanon. The loans will expand Bank Audi’s capital base and support its regional growth plans, strengthening economic integration between developing economies and creating jobs.

A cornerstone of IFC’s strategy in the MENA region is to support the growth of South-South investments in order to stimulate economic development. Bank Audi is seeking to solidify its position as the leading bank in Lebanon while scaling up its lending operations in neighboring economies, such as Turkey and Egypt, thereby stimulating cross-border investment and trade activity across the region.

“Bank Audi is very pleased to strengthen its partnership with IFC and the IFC Capitalization Fund. This investment in Lebanon is a positive sign for the country’s resilience and the region’s growth potential, and highlights the opportunities for sustainable investments, even in these difficult times,” said Samir Hanna, Group CEO of Bank Audi. “This partnership with IFC will also help us strengthen our regional banking platform, in particular with regard to expanding financial access to underserved segments, such as small and medium enterprises.”

In December 2013, IFC provided a $75 million financing package to Odeabank in Turkey, a fully owned subsidiary of Bank Audi.

“This new investment will support Bank Audi in its expansion plans both inside and outside Lebanon, thereby increasing critical trade flows and investment within the region,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “Following the investment in Odeabank, the transaction confirms our support of Bank Audi, a strategic partner for IFC in MENA.”

Marcos Brujis, Head of the IFC Capitalization Fund, said: "This is our first investment in Lebanon and we are very pleased to provide capital to Bank Audi as it expands its footprint across the MENA region and Turkey.”

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

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About Bank Audi sal
Bank Audi is a fully fledged regional bank with a presence in 13 countries. It offers universal banking products and services including Corporate, Commercial, Individual, Investment, and Private Banking services. As of December 2013, Bank Audi’s consolidated assets were $ 36.1 billion, (including private customers’ deposits of $ 31.1 billion), and shareholders’ equity was $ 2.7 billion. Bank Audi’s headcount exceeds 5,800 employees and its shareholder base encompasses more than 2,500 holders of common shares and/or holders of Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs) representing common shares. The common shares and the GDRs are listed on the Beirut Stock Exchange and the GDRs are also listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Bank Audi ranks first among Lebanese banks by consolidated total assets, deposits, loans and shareholders’ equity and is among the top Arab banking groups in the Middle East and North Africa region, with respect to the same criteria.

For more information, visit
www.banqueaudi.com
www.facebook.com/BankAudiLebanon
www.youtube.com/BankAudiGroup

About IFC Asset Management Company                                              
IFC Asset Management Company LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IFC, invests third-party capital, enabling outside investors to benefit from IFC’s expertise in achieving strong equity returns, as well as positive development impact in the countries in which it invests. It manages over $6 billion of capital across six investment funds.


About the IFC Capitalization Fund
IFC Capitalization Fund is a global equity and subordinated debt fund supported by commitments from IFC and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. It aims to strengthen banks considered vital to the financial system of emerging markets.

About JBIC
Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) is a policy-based financial institution wholly owned by the Japanese government, which has the objective of contributing to the sound development of Japan and the international economy and society by conducting financial operations in the following four fields: Promoting overseas development and securement of resources which are important for Japan; Maintaining and improving the international competitiveness of Japanese industries; Promoting overseas business that preserves the global environment, such as preventing global warming; Preventing disruptions to international financial order or taking appropriate measures with respect to damages caused by such disruption. For more information, visit www.jbic.go.jp/en