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IFC Provides $2.1 Million for Expansion and Modernization of Mali’s Graphique Industrie


In Washington
Adriana Gomez

Phone: +1 (202) 458-5204

Fax:     +1 (202) 974-4384

Email:
agomez@ifc.org


Washington, D.C. February 2, 2005—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will provide a $2.1 million loan (equivalent to €1.74 million) to Mali’s leading printing firm, Graphique Industrie S.A. IFC financing will support the company’s expansion and modernization program.

The project will benefit Mali’s educational system, by providing better quality schoolbooks. The printing and editing of schoolbooks has previously been limited to the country’s Ministry of Education, until the recent liberalization of the sector.


The company will diversify its market base by increasing the portion of higher value-added products sold to private businesses, thus reducing reliance on government.  The company will also improve its environmental and safety standards.  IFC’s participation was essential in completing the $5.2 million financing plan for the project, since long-term financing is not easily available from the local capital market.


Dimitris Tsitstiragos, Director of IFC's Global Manufacturing and Services Department, noted, “This is the second time in three years that IFC has supported the development plans of Graphique Industrie.  This repeat investment shows IFC’s commitment as a long-term partner.  It also demonstrates IFC’s confidence in the company’s prospects, thus sending a positive signal to other potential lenders.”


IFC investment in Graphique Industrie fits well the Corporation's strategy of supporting small and medium-size enterprises in Mali. SMEs are key drivers of the Mali’s economic growth and account for most of the private sector firms in the country.  IFC's investment portfolio in Mali is spread across sectors including tourism, printing, transportation, and mining.


The mission of IFC (
http://www.ifc.org/) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives.  IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.  From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.