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IFC and AfDB Provide $280 Million to Nedbank to Support Sustainable Economic Growth


In Johannesburg:
Houtan Bassiri
Phone: +(27) 11 731 3179
E-mail: hbassiri@ifc.org

In Washington, DC:
Lotte Pang
Phone +1 (202) 458-0952
E-mail: lpang@ifc.org


Johannesburg, July 2, 2007 — IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, and the African Development Bank will subscribe to a $280 million (two billion South African rand) Tier ll capital-qualifying bond issued by Nedbank, the three institutions announced today.

Nedbank will use the capital—A billion rands each from IFC and AfDB—to increase lending to underserved markets in the region for affordable housing development, black economic empowerment transactions, smaller businesses, large-scale infrastructure and resource-extraction projects, and the agribusiness sector.

IFC and AfDB’s investments will be for a minimum of 10 years. IFC’s investment will be its largest to date in Sub-Saharan Africa’s financial markets. It will also be AfDB’s first subscription to Tier ll capital in Africa and Nedbank’s first major offshore Tier ll issue.
 
“This investment will enable Nedbank to continue lending in sectors where we have a proven track record of sustainable delivery,” said Tom Boardman, Chief Executive of Nedbank Group. “Sustainability is about ensuring financial prosperity and stability for shareholders and staff, integrating social and environmental responsibility into the local communities in the countries in which we operate, and remaining accessible to our clients,” he added.

In the past three years Nedbank has invested over 5.2 billion rands in low-income housing, more than 1.2 billion rands in transformational infrastructure, and over a billion in developing small and medium enterprises. The group has also financed over 8.5 billion rands in business-enabling environment transactions, which facilitate transfer of ownership to previously disadvantaged individuals and communities in South Africa, in addition to its own transaction worth 3.1 billion.

“AfDB is pleased to build on its partnership with Nedbank,” said Mandla Gantsho, AfDB Vice President, Infrastructure, Private Sector and Regional Integration. “This is a landmark transaction for us. It is the first time that we have provided Tier II capital, which is a critical element in increasing the risk-bearing capacities of banks as they expand services to reach underserved markets. We are also pleased to have collaborated with IFC, while leveraging each other’s capacities to help strengthen the financial sector in South Africa and across Africa in the future.”

“We are pleased to partner with institutions that share our sustainable development values,” said James Scriven, IFC Associate Director for Global Financial Markets. “IFC, AfDB, and Nedbank aim to increase social and environmental awareness in the financial sector and contribute to more sustainable economic development across Africa.”

At the 2007 Sustainable Banking Awards in June, Nedbank’s commitment to sustainability was recognized as it won the Emerging Markets Sustainable Bank of the Year in the Middle East and Africa award. Now in its second year, the awards program was created by the Financial Times in association with IFC to recognize banks that have shown leadership and innovation in integrating social, environmental, and corporate governance objectives into their operations.

Nedbank is the only bank in Africa that has adopted the Equator Principles, a voluntary set of guidelines for managing social and environmental issues in project-finance lending. Based on IFC’s performance standards, the Principles, which were launched by 10 banks in June 2003 and revised in June 2006, have so far been adopted by over 50 financial institutions.

About IFC
IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.  IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06, IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion in funding for private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure, to improve the business-enabling environment, to increase access to finance, and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information, please visit www.ifc.org.

About the African Development Bank
AfDB is a multilateral development bank whose shareholders include 53 African countries known as regional member countries and 24 non-African countries from the Americas, Asia, and Europe. The bank, which was established in 1964, officially began operations in 1967. Its private sector window was established in 1991 to broaden the scope of development assistance to the regional member countries in recognition of the important role of the private sector in stimulating economic growth and development. For more information, please visit www.afdb.org.

About Nedbank Group
Nedbank Group is a bank holding company, which operates as one of the four largest banking groups in South Africa through its principal banking subsidiary, Nedbank Limited. The group, which has been listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Limited since 1969, offers a wide range of wholesale and retail banking services through its three main business units, Nedbank Corporate, Nedbank Capital, and Nedbank Retail.