Cairo, January 15, 2008—IFC, a member
of the World Bank Group, announced recently that Ahli United Bank in Egypt
has become the first bank in the country to join its Global Trade
Finance Program as an issuing bank.
The Global Trade Finance Program promotes trade with emerging markets worldwide
by supporting flows of goods and services to and from developing countries.
Through the program, IFC provides guarantee coverage of bank risk in emerging
markets, allowing recipients to expand their trade finance transactions
within an extensive network of countries and banks and to enhance their
trade finance coverage.
“Ahli United Bank is pleased to be a part of the Global Trade Finance
Program. Our association with the program will allow us to provide greater
services to our corporate clients and support Egypt’s growing export industry,”
said Adel A. El-Labban, Group CEO and Managing Director, Ahli United Bank.
“Through this program, we will help enhance trade finance capacity in
local banks. In most markets, this has greatest net effect on small and
medium enterprises, which are the most reliant on the support of local
banks. Foreign banks typically focus on larger transactions and top-tier
commercial entities. Our program guarantees amounts as low as $10,000 to
ensure the SME sector is well supported,” said Michael Essex, IFC Director
for the Middle East and North Africa.
More markets in the Middle East and North Africa are benefiting from this
program. For example, Saba Islamic Bank in Yemen, which joined the program
in 2007, helped a Yemeni food industry access a trade line to import equipment
necessary for producing baby food. This operation was the first of its
kind in the country.
About IFCIFC, a member of the World
Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries
by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local
and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people
have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07,
IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through
loan participations and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing
countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries.
About Ahli United Bank
Ahli United Bank B.S.C. is an offshore and full commercial banking institution
based in Bahrain. It provides retail, commercial, and investment banking
business, as well as global fund management and private banking services.
By developing a larger client base in the Gulf states and through its close
partnerships with customers, staff, and product providers, the bank is
growing. The evolution of future mergers and acquisitions in the
Gulf region remains central to its expansion strategy. AUB reported a consolidated
net profit of $ 225.9 million for the nine month period ended 30 September
2007. This was a 37.5 percent increase compared to the same period last
year. As of September 30, 2007, the bank’s total assets were $ 21.9
In 2007, AUB was named the Best Bank in the Middle East by Euromoney and
Global Finance and Bank of the Year – Bahrain by The Banker. In 2006,
the bank was awarded the Global Bank of the Year – Middle East by The
Banker; Best Bank – Middle East and Africa by Global Finance; Best Foreign
Exchange Bank – Middle East by Global Finance; and Best Bank and Bank
of the Year – Bahrain by Global Finance, Euromoney, and The Banker.