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IFC Invest $30 Million in National Commercial Bank Jamaica


In Washington, DC
Adriana Gomez

Phone: +1(202)458 5204

Email:
agomez@ifc.org

In Jamaica

Kirk Ifill

Phone:+1(868)628 5074

Email:
kfill@ifc.org

NCBJ in Jamaica

Group Managing Director

Patrick Hylton

Phone:+1(876)935 2068

Email:
hyltonp@jncb.com


Washington, D.C., July 5, 2005 The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement with National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited to provide a $30 million, 10 year loan. The long-term financing is intended to be the first step in building a relationship between the two organizations, and will support its expansion plans in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. The investment marks IFC’s first direct financing to a Jamaican financial institution since 1989.

National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited is the largest commercial bank in Jamaica, with total assets of over $3 billion and total equity of $300 million as of March 2005, having achieved significant growth in profitability, assets and net worth since the acquisition of control in March 2002 by AIC Limited.  It offers a wide range of financial services, including corporate, personal, and investment banking. With a network of over 50 retail outlets and 115 ATMs, the bank plans to expand, especially through its retail business, and has led the Jamaican business community in its unmatched support of education and community policing.

Jyrki I. Koskelo, IFC’s Director for Global Financial Markets, said, “IFC is pleased to support National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited, as it re-engages in providing long-term financing to Jamaica’s economy. The bank’s resilient franchise and strong shareholder engagement provide a base for success in a rapidly changing environment. We expect the banking sector to continue its upward trend and look forward to Jamaican authorities’ support for it as they tackle the remaining structural issues.”

Michael Lee-Chin, Chairman of National Commercial Bank Jamaica, acknowledged IFC’s strong support and underscored the financing opportunities the long-term loan will provide. He added, “National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited is Jamaica’s leading financial institution serving almost all the sectors of the Jamaican economy.  We look forward to developing a long-term relationship with IFC as we build our strategy for the Caricom region. ”

Atul Mehta, IFC’s Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, added, “The reactivation of the private banking sector as a dynamic player in credit intermediation is crucial to the sustainable recovery of Jamaica’s economy and its rapidly increasing credit demand. IFC welcomes and supports National Commercial Bank Jamaica’s efforts to make long-term funding more accessible to viable borrowers.”

The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition economies, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the emerging markets, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.