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IFC Launches First Student Loan Program in Jordan


In Washington, D.C.:
Ludi Joseph
Phone: +1 (202) 473 7700
E-mail:
LJoseph@ifc.org

In Cairo, Egypt:
Riham Mustafa and Egidio Germanetti, IFC
Phone: +20 2 461 9140/45/50
E-mails: RMustafa@ifc.org/EGermanetti@ifc.org

In Amman, Jordan :
Ahmed Ali Attiga, IFC
Phone: +962-6-568-5060
E-mail: AAttiga@ifc.org


Washington, D.C. / Amman, August 17, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is establishing a partnership with Omnix International and Cairo Amman Bank to introduce a new program in Jordan that will provide loans to university students, including those from lower income backgrounds who are unable to afford tuition fees.

By spreading the cost of tuition over the life of the loan, the program will enable more students to obtain financing for higher education. The enrollment rate for public and private universities in Jordan is about 22 percent, a low figure that is due in part to the financial difficulty of students to pay for tertiary education.

The student loan program is expected to benefit around 3,000 students and will consist of a portfolio of loans in Jordanian Dinar equivalent to $12.5 million. The loans will be affordable and limited to tuition costs with a maximum maturity of eight years.  Omnix International will contribute funds to establish the program and cover initial risk.  IFC will provide a structure to share the senior risk. Cairo Amman Bank will share the risk as well as originate, fund, and administer the loans and manage the overall program.

Jamal Abu Issa, Founder of Omnix International, said, “The project will present an important opportunity for students and their families to obtain financing for higher education. By providing student loans, the project will increase access and promote social and economic diversity in higher education.”

Khaled Sabih Masri, Chairman, Cairo Amman Bank, said, “The project is an important initiative by Cairo Amman Bank in our strategy to serve consumer needs in all areas, including education financing.  We value our partnership with Omnix International and IFC in launching this innovative program.”

Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Health and Education, said, “The project fits well with IFC’s strategy of supporting student loan programs as a means of promoting greater participation in higher education for people of all income groups and introducing innovative means of financing and delivering services.”

Michael G. Essex, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said, “IFC played a key role in structuring the facility and bringing the parties together. By demonstrating that student lending is commercially viable, the project may encourage other financial institutions to enter the sector.”

About IFC
IFC, 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 people should 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 syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About Omnix International
Omnix International is a leading provider of Enterprise software, networking, and security solutions in the Middle East. It was founded in 1987 by Jamal Abu Issa and is part of the Omnix group of companies which has operational and investment interests in a diverse range of industries globally. For more information, visit www.omnix.ae.

About Cairo Amman Bank
Headquartered in Amman, Cairo Amman Bank was established in 1960 as a public shareholding limited company that has become one of Jordan’s leading banks offering comprehensive retail, commercial, and investment banking services. With 60 branches in Jordan, 17 in Palestine, and a network of 177 ATMs, the bank has also set up selling points in 96 post offices in Jordan with the agreement of the Jordan Post Company to reach remote areas that lack financial services. For more information, visit www.cab.jo.