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IFC and IFC Capitalization Fund Become Shareholders in Bank South Pacific with $140 Million Investment


In Sydney:
Sara King
Phone: (+612) 9235 6524
E-mail: Sking@ifc.org

In Washington:
Alexandra Klopfer
Phone: +1 (202) 473 4645
E-mail: aklopfer@ifc.org

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, July 30, 2010— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and IFC Capitalization Fund have become shareholders in Bank South Pacific to help expand financial services in Papua New Guinea and bolster the bank’s presence across the Pacific islands.

In supporting the bank’s long-term growth plans, IFC has bought a five percent equity stake in BSP from the Independent Public Business Corporation of Papua New Guinea, a government-owned investment body, while the IFC Capitalization Fund has acquired another five percent of equity by subscribing to newly issued shares. In addition, IFC is providing a long-term $30 million senior loan, enabling BSP to increase its lending to eligible borrowers in Papua New Guinea. The complete package of around $140 million represents IFC’s largest investment in the Pacific region to date.  

“IFC’s financial commitment endorses our bank’s strong market position and strategic direction,” BSP Managing Director Ian Clyne said at a public signing ceremony of the investment, which was first announced on June 24, 2010.  “IFC’s investment and expertise will further build and diversify our capital and customer base, allowing us to position ourselves as a leading provider of banking services in the Pacific.”

BSP is Papua New Guinea’s largest retail and commercial bank with operations extending to the Pacific islands of Fiji, Niue, and the Solomon Islands.  With IFC’s support, the bank will broaden services to small to midsize businesses and rural clients by expanding innovations such as mobile phone banking.  

“IFC is pleased to partner with BSP to help extend financial services to customers who otherwise may not be able to obtain the financing needed to do business and improve living standards,” said Karin Finkelston, IFC Director for East Asia Pacific.  “IFC will work alongside the bank’s other shareholders to strengthen its product offerings, internal systems and governance.”

"We are pleased that the IFC Capitalization Fund is supporting Bank South Pacific,” said Marcos Brujis, Head of the IFC Capitalization Fund. “We look forward to working with BSP management to help strengthen this systemically important institution and increase value for its shareholders and clients.”

The $3 billion IFC Capitalization Fund was set up by IFC and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation to support banks considered vital to the financial system of an emerging market country, with a goal of speeding up economic recovery, boosting job creation and reducing the impact of the global financial crisis. The fund is managed by IFC Asset Management Company.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About IFC Asset Management Company
IFC Asset Management Company LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IFC, invests third-party capital, enabling outside investors to benefit from IFC’s expertise in achieving strong equity returns as well as positive development impact in the countries in which it invests. It manages the $3 billion IFC Capitalization Fund as well as the IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund.

About Japan Bank for International Cooperation
JBIC is the international wing of the Japan Finance Corporation (JFC), Japan’s policy-based financing institution established on October 1, 2008. It succeeded International Financial Operations of former JBIC and will continue to use the name of JBIC to maintain international trust and confidence it has gained. JBIC provides policy-based finance with a mission to contribute to the sound development of the Japanese and international economy, including finance responding to disruptions in financial order in the international economy. For more information, visit www.jbic.go.jp.