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IFC Finances Shangri-La Resort Hotel to Spur Development in Southern Maldives


In Washington, D.C.:
Carmen Powell

Phone: +1 202 473 4982

E-mail:
cpowell@ifc.org

In New Delhi:

Minakshi Seth

Phone: +91 11 4111 1058

E-mail:
mseth@ifc.org


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.”


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 Shangri-la project.


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,” Tsitsiragos said.


About IFC

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.

About Shangri-La

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.