Washington, D.C., March 2, 2009—
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping
Shangri-La Asia Limited finance the construction of a 142-room resort hotel
in southern Maldives that will help create jobs, strengthen tax revenues,
and attract tourists and investors to an underdeveloped region of the country.
IFC will provide $50 million in long-term financing to help the company
complete construction of the high end hotel on Villingili Island in the
Addu Atoll, about 400 kilometers from the capital city of Male. The investment
will strengthen the local economy by directly creating more than 300 jobs
and indirectly facilitating the creation of 2,000 jobs while the resort
is being constructed.
“We are pleased to have IFC as a co-investor in our first investment in
the Maldives,” said Madhu Rao, Executive Director and CFO of Shangri-La
Asia. “The investment will provide important support to the local economy.
Shangri-La strongly supports the Maldivian government's commitment to sustainable
Tourism accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity in Maldives.
But tourism development is largely concentrated around Male, in the north.
The Maldivian government has been working to ensure that tourism activity
is more widely dispersed, especially in the southern atolls. The government
has a 30 percent equity investment in the joint venture implementing the
Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Director for Global Manufacturing and Services,
said the project will generate “significant employment and help boost
the commercial infrastructure necessary for increased business activity.”
“As it will be the first high-end resort development in the south of Maldives,
the project will help create a new tourist destination and attract other
private investors into the area, further benefiting the local economy,”
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2
billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For
more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Shangri-La is a leading owner and operator of deluxe hotels and resorts
in Asia. It is publicly listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, with
a market capitalization of $3.3 billion. It is 50-percent owned by Kerry
Group Limited (KGL), a conglomerate based in Hong Kong that is controlled
by Robert Kuok, a well- known Asian entrepreneur. Most of its hotel operations
are in mainland China and Hong Kong. For more information, visit www.shangri-la.com.