Washington, DC, October 26, 2007 —
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that Rawbank, a
leading financial institution in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the
first bank in the country to join the IFC Global Trade Finance Program.
The program is providing the bank with a $3 million facility to support
its international trade finance operations. This transaction expands on
IFC’s advisory services in the country, which are helping build a robust
private sector and contribute to the country’s overall development.
The IFC Global Trade Finance Program
was launched in 2005 to support trade with emerging markets worldwide and
promote flows of goods and services between developing countries. IFC provides
guarantee coverage of bank risk in emerging markets, allowing recipients
to expand their trade finance transactions within an extensive network
of countries and banks and to enhance their trade finance coverage.
IFC will issue guarantees against Rawbank’s
underlying trade transactions, covering payment risk and helping increase
the DRC’s global trade volumes.
“Increasing trade volumes is an important
way of promoting economic development in the Democratic Republic of Congo,”
said Thierry Taeymans, Rawbank’s CEO. “We are pleased to work with
IFC to help our clients increase their share of global trade.”
IFC is expanding its activities in the
world’s poorest countries and those seeking to stimulate private sector
development. IFC is also trying to do more to support post-conflict countries,
especially in Africa. The DRC is emerging from more than a decade of conflict
and remains one of the world’s poorest countries, with gross domestic
product of $143 per capita.
“A vibrant private sector is the driver
of economic growth and critical to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s
development,” said Jyrki Koskelo, IFC Vice President for Africa and Global
Financial Markets. “IFC hopes to increase its activities in the country
so that private companies can contribute more to development.”
To date, the IFC Global Trade Finance
Program has provided $1.4 billion worth of guarantees to issuing banks
in developing countries. More than half of these have been issued
to support trade in Africa.
Typically, banks in the Democratic Republic
of Congo are required to post cash as collateral for all of their trade-related
transactions, making it expensive for companies to trade with their overseas
counterparts. IFC’s agreement with Rawbank will reduce the cost and risks
associated with such transactions.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing
private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international
financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services
to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the
opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed
$8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through loan participations
and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries.
IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information,
Rawbank started operations in 2002 and
is a prominent banking institution in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The bank holds a universal banking license and provides an array of financial
solutions to individuals, corporates, and small and medium enterprises.
It has a deposit base of more than $125 million and is well positioned
in the corporate market, with a client base that includes some of the largest
domestic and foreign companies operating in the country. It also has one
of the best correspondent bank networks to facilitate trade finance services
to its clients.
Rawbank is the first bank to launch
MasterCard products in the country. It is also one of the few local banks
offering an electronic payment platform to its clients. It has a good network
of ATMs called “RAPIDOS” and is also one of the franchisees of MoneyGram
International and Celpay.