WASHINGTON, D.C., February 19, 1999 –
The International Finance Corporation signed an agreement today to provide
a loan of US$10 million to the Seychelles International Mercantile Banking
Corporation, known by its trade name Nouvobanq. Established in 1991,
Nouvobanq is the only locally incorporated commercial bank in the country.
The IFC loan will provide long-term financing to Nuovobanq for onlending
to small and medium export-oriented enterprises in the agro-industry, fisheries
and services sectors. This will help the small but open Seychelles
economy – now dependent on tourism -- to diversify. The project
will also strengthen Nouvobanq's balance sheet, making it more attractive
to private investors. In addition, IFC will help Nouvobanq find a
suitable strategic partner which would accelerate the full privatization
of the bank.
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 government and businesses.