WASHINGTON, D.C., February 19, 1999 –
The International Finance Corporation has entered into a 14-year US$32
million interest rate swap with the Azito Power project in Côte d'Ivoire,
enabling Azito to synthetically transform its floating rate financing into
fixed rate. As a result of the swap transaction, Azito Power was able to
protect itself against interest rate volatility by paying a fixed rate
Since 1991, IFC has offered a wide range of risk management products to
its clients in developing countries. By allowing its clients to access
the international derivatives markets in order to hedge currency, interest
rate or commodity price exposure, IFC helps these companies enhance their
creditworthiness and long-term profitability, said Farida Khambata, Director
of IFC's Treasury Department. This transaction represents IFC's first derivatives
transaction in Côte d'Ivoire and its ninth in sub-Saharan Africa.
The agreement followed IFC's earlier loan of $60 million to Azito for a
$223 million natural gas-fired electrical power station. On Jan.
15, IFC announced the loan, consisting of $30 million for its own account
and $30 million underwritten by Société Générale and syndicated with a
group of European banks.
IFC, part of the World Bank group, fosters economic growth in the developing
world by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in the
international financial markets and providing technical assistance and
advice to governments and businesses. Its long-term debt is rated triple-A
by both S&P and Moody's Investors Service.