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IFC Support of Morocco’s First Upper Tier II Capital Subordinated Loan to Help BMCE Expand into Sub-Saharan Africa

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Lotte Pang
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 Casablanca, May 19, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced on May 12 that it will provide Morocco’s first subordinated loan qualifying as Upper Tier II capital. IFC’s €70 million investment in Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur, the second-largest private sector commercial bank in Morocco, will help finance the bank’s international expansion, including into Sub-Saharan Africa.

The investment will be used partly to fund the recent acquisition of a 35 percent shareholding in African Financial Holding, the holding company of the Bank of Africa network. IFC will also assist BMCE in implementing a social and environmental management system.

Othman Benjelloun, Chairman of BMCE, said, “This partnership with IFC is key to the success of our plans to expand internationally. IFC’s presence and local knowledge in Africa will add value to our future operations there. Working with IFC, we aim to be among the first banking groups in the region to implement social and environmental standards in compliance with international best practice.”

Jyrki Koskelo, IFC Vice President for Africa, Global Financial Markets, and Funds, said, “BMCE’s investment in the Bank of Africa network will help transfer knowledge and expertise to Sub-Saharan Africa. By partnering with BMCE, we can contribute significantly to the establishment of a leading, regional financial services group.”

In the Middle East and North Africa, IFC is implementing a strategy to develop partnerships with strong regional banks that have the capacity to expand and diversify from their local markets into developing markets, both within the region and beyond.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit

About Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur

BMCE is the second-largest private sector commercial bank in Morocco, with a consolidated asset base of about $11.8 billion as of June 2007. The bank had 340 branches and around 3,500 employees as of June 2007. In the past, BMCE focused mainly on large corporate financing, with a leading position in trade finance.  In 2003, the bank initiated a new strategy to develop its business in Morocco and abroad.