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IFC Invests in Leading Iraqi Water Bottler to Boost Growth, Diversification


In Washington D.C.:
Elizabeth Price

Phone: (202) 458-0387

Email:
eprice@ifc.org

In Cairo:

Riham Mustafa

Phone: +(202) 2461-4230

E-mail:
rmustafa@ifc.org


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 and suppliers.    


“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 in Iraq.”


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.”


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 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.


About PROPARCO

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.


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