Baghdad, Iraq, July 15, 2015—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a loan of $12 million and
mobilizing an $8 million loan from PROPARCO, a French development finance
institution, to help Al Ahram for General Trading, a leading bottled water
manufacturer known for the ‘Life Water’ brand in Iraq, expand and strengthen
production, boosting private sector growth and the country’s non-oil sector.
The long-term loan from IFC and PROPARCO will help Al Ahram expand existing
plants in Zakho and Suleymaniyah in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, enabling
the company to add a new water bottling line. They will also enable Al
Ahram to invest in production and strengthen job security for employees
“This investment will help us grow our business, provide more high quality
products for our consumers, and train our employees to international standards,”
said Abdul Rakib Nazer, Executive Board Member of Al Ahram. “We are looking
forward to building a long-term relationship with IFC and PROPARCO as we
continue to expand.”
The loan will also allow Al Ahram to import the latest processing and packing
equipment, boosting technological know-how, and increase the quantity of
beverage products in the Iraqi market produced to global food safety standards.
“Our investment in Al Ahram is part of our overall strategy in Iraq to
support local players in the non-oil sector, encourage private sector development,
and promote job creation,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the
Middle East and North Africa. “We hope our commitment to this project
will also encourage other international and domestic investors to invest
Over the next few years, IFC is planning to step up its investment and
advisory services in Iraq, investing $100-130 million per year, in priority
sectors such as infrastructure and financial markets.
“PROPARCO is pleased to support a company such as Al Ahram, which plays
a key role in providing affordable drinkable water to the Iraqi population,”
said Julien Lefilleur, PROPARCO Head of Manufacturing, Agribusiness, and
Services. “This financing will not only support its production growth
but will also create hundreds of additional jobs. In fragile situations,
the private sector is crucial to development and stability.”
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 about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and
influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives
in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Al Ahram
Al Ahram is a member of UB Holding, which is a Kurdistan Region of Iraq-based
industrial conglomerate. It specializes in the manufacturing and sales
of bottled water and beverages. Ahram’s two production plants, located
in Zakho and Suleymaniyah, are designed and built according to international
standards, and equipped with the latest technology regarding the production
lines and laboratories. Ahram’s most commonly recognized product is its
bottled water brand “Life” which is a market leader in Iraq.
PROPARCO, a Development Finance Institution, is held by Agence Française
de Développement (AFD) and private shareholders from the North and South.
Its mandate is to catalyze private investment in emerging and developing
countries in order to support growth, sustainable development and the achievement
of the Millennium Development Goals.