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IFC Invests in Bank Alfalah to Support SMEs, Spur Growth and Jobs in Pakistan

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +(202) 2461-4230

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, November 24, 2014—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $67 million in Bank Alfalah, one of Pakistan’s largest banks, to help expand access to finance for smaller businesses, spurring economic growth and job creation.

IFC’s equity investment will help the bank grow its operations, increase lending for SMEs and into the agri-sector, as well as into new areas like sustainable energy finance.  

“We are delighted to have IFC as a shareholder and partner”, Atif Bajwa, Chief Executive Officer of Bank Alfalah. “We look forward to developing a long term strategic collaboration which will strengthen the Bank’s ability to provide a wider range of services and better access to finance, and create opportunities for economic growth in the country. This new foreign investment will also contribute significantly to attracting more investors to Pakistan”.

As part of the partnership, IFC has already provided Bank Alfalah with a comprehensive advisory package to implement its SME banking program. SMEs account for about 90 percent of private enterprises in Pakistan’s formal industrial sectors and employ over 70 percent of the country’s labor force.

The investment fits with IFC’s strategy in the Middle East and North Africa to support Gulf companies’ expansion into emerging markets. IFC support is also expected to help boost investor confidence in Pakistan’s banking sector.

"A strong financial sector is the backbone of any economy," said Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Vice President for Global Client Services. "This investment will help support Pakistan’s financial sector and demonstrate its long-term potential. It will also give smaller businesses better access to capital, allowing them to unlock their potential and create much-needed jobs.”

The agreement was signed by H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, representing the Abu Dhabi Group. IFC and Bank Alfalah, majority owned by the Abu Dhabi Group, are long-term partners. IFC provides trade finance guarantees to support the bank’s clients as they access international markets. IFC is also working on other projects with the Abu Dhabi Group, one of the largest business conglomerates in the region.

Pakistan is a priority country for IFC. During the last three years, IFC has ramped up its investments and advisory services work, supporting the development of Pakistan’s private sector. IFC focused on mobilizing investments in power and infrastructure, and providing access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises through financial intermediaries.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit

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