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