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IFC MAKES FIRST INVESTMENT IN MAURITANIA'S FINANCIAL SECTOR US$14 MILLION FOR BMCI


Amy Conran
Phone: (202) 473-9119
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: aconran@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 5—The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has just signed an investment agreement with Banque Mauritanienne pour le Commerce International (BMCI) for a credit line of up to US$14 million. BMCI will use the credit line to onlend to export- oriented companies in Mauritania. This is IFC first investment in the financial sector in Mauritania.

BMCI, which is headquartered in Nouakchott, has five branches in the main provincial centers and provides a full range of commercial banking services with a strong emphasis on trade finance. To date, the majority of BMCI's operations have consisted of short-term financing projects. The IFC credit line will enable BMCI to provide longer term financing for export-oriented Mauritanian enterprises and will also further develop the bank's trade finance activities. BMCI intends to support projects in the agribusiness, fishing, and tourism sectors.


To date, IFC has invested over US$15 million for four projects in Mauritania. IFC has concentrated its activities in the agribusiness, mining, and fishing sectors with emphasis on small- and medium-sized enterprises. In the financial sector, IFC's goal is to energize the banking sector by providing scarce foreign exchange long- term resources and promoting competition. IFC is also promoting the diversification of the financial sector and has recently conducted a feasibility study for the establishment of a leasing company with financial assistance made available by the Irish government.


IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral source of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing countries.


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