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IFC INVESTS US$1.4 MILLION IN JORDAN INVESTMENT TRUST


L. Joseph
Phone: (202) 473-7700
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: Ljoseph@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., March 25, 1998—The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is making an equity investment of US$1.4 million in Jordan Investment Trust PLC (Jordinvest), an investment company which will undertake investment banking activities in Jordan.

Jordinvest’s activities will include providing long-term private equity, investing in quoted investments, underwriting and private placement of debt and equity issues, corporate finance activities, privatization, and mergers and acquisitions.  The company will also advise and encourage private businesses to switch from short-term to more appropriate long-term funding.  Although Jordinvest will initially focus on providing these services in Jordan, it will, where possible, extend its reach to the Palestinian Territories.


A pioneer in the Jordanian market, Jordinvest is the first institution dedicated to investment banking activities.  Although the country has an extensive banking community, private businesses and industries have little access to long-term capital and debt financing to fund their growth.


Mr. Andre Hovaguimian, IFC’s Director for Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa said that there was a demand for more sophisticated financial services because of the recent financial liberalization and regulatory changes in Jordan.  He added that Jordinvest would play an important role in addressing some of the financial needs of the private sector in Jordan and in developing its capital markets.


The main sponsors of the project are Gulfinvest International KSE and TrustHouse Consultants for Finance and Investments.  Gulfinvest is an investment company incorporated in Kuwait.  Its primary focus is to provide development capital to private businesses in the Middle East and North Africa.  TrustHouse Consultants is a financial consulting firm founded and run by Dr. Mohammed Said Nabulsi, a former governor of the Central Bank of Jordan.


IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters economic growth in the developing world by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.  To date, IFC has approved about US$204 million in financing for 12 projects in Jordan.