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IFC Global Trade Finance Program Expands to Haiti


In Washington, DC:
Adriana Gomez
Phone: +1 (202) 458-5204
E-mail: Agomez@ifc.org

Washington, D.C., June 4, 2007 — IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today announced that Capital Bank S.A. is the first issuing bank in Haiti to join its Global Trade Finance Program.  The program will allow Capital Bank to increase its trade import finance activities, helping more local businesses grow and compete in the international marketplace. This will also help the bank provide clients with access to markets across the region through the program’s network.

The Global Trade Finance Program promotes trade with emerging markets worldwide by supporting flows of goods and services to and from developing countries. Through the program, IFC provides guarantee coverage of bank risk in emerging markets, allowing recipients to expand their trade finance transactions within an extensive network of countries and banks and to enhance their trade finance coverage.

At the announcement, Bernard Roy, Chairman of Capital Bank, said, “We are pleased to be the first bank in Haiti to join the Global Trade Finance Program and to initiate a relationship with IFC. Through the program, we will be able to enhance our services in trade finance for our clients.”

Atul Mehta, IFC Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, added, “We are delighted to have Capital Bank as our first issuing bank in Haiti.  This transaction is consistent with IFC's mandate to address the challenges facing the Haitian private sector as it will enhance Capital Bank's ability to provide trade finance on more competitive terms to Haitian companies.”

Since the Global Trade Finance Program was launched in the region in February 2006, IFC has issued US$186.7 million in guarantees in six countries of the region: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Mexico. Brazil accounts for the highest volume, primarily for pre-export financing. Argentina’s volume is the next highest.  One-third of the guarantees issued support smaller and midsize businesses and interregional trade flows between emerging market nations.  Main industries covered through the program include agribusiness, automotives, consumer goods, industrial goods, commodities, oil and gas, telecommunications, and textiles.

IFC in Haiti
IFC is supporting the Haitian government's development policy of promoting economic growth and improving access to high-quality basic services, particularly for the most vulnerable people.  IFC also focuses on helping establish the basis for a sound business-enabling environment. Access to finance is another key area that IFC is looking to develop, as well as support for micro and small and medium enterprises.   Since 2000, IFC made four investments and one advisory operation in Haiti in support of microfinance, textiles, electricity, and the telecommunications sector.  IFC clients in Haiti include Digicel Haiti and CODEVI textiles zone in the town of Ouanaminthe.

About IFC
IFC is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and 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 improve their lives. Over the past 50 years, 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 Capital Bank
Capital Bank ranks as Haiti’s fourth-largest bank in terms of assets. The bank is ranked fifth for trade finance services. Its core business is commercial lending to businesses in wholesale and retail trade, services, food, vehicles, and light manufacturing. Capital Bank operates through a network of 15 branches and employs 354 people.

For information on the Global Trade Finance Program, visit www.ifc.org/gtfp.