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IFC and ABN Amro Bank Renew US$80 Million Trade Enhancement Facility Pakistan


Desmond Dodd                Phone:  (202) 473-7194                
Fax:  (202) 974-4384        

E-mail:
ddodd@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., February 11, 2003—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector development arm of the World Bank Group, and ABN AMRO signed a US$80 million trade enhancement facility designed to help private sector Pakistani importers and exporters with financing to import capital goods and raw materials.

The three-year revolving facility will give businesses in Pakistan better access to letters of credit confirmations by guaranteeing documentary credits originated by selected commercial banks. The facility will initially include five banks in Pakistan—ABN AMRO Pakistan, Askari Bank, Metropolitan Bank Limited, Soneri Bank Limited, and Union Bank Limited. IFC will guarantee 50 percent of each transaction.


Mr. Karl Voltaire, IFC’s Director for Global Financial Markets, said, “The facility will enhance the availability of trade finance to Pakistani importers and exporters by helping supplement country limits currently available to commercial banks operating in Pakistan.” It will help maintain trade finance flows to the private sector in Pakistan at a time when such finance is urgently needed.


Mr. Sami Haddad, IFC’s Director for the Middle East and North Africa, added: “Given the various adverse external shocks, it is particularly important to maintain trade flows since they contribute significantly to the level of economic activity in Pakistan. IFC is also considering participating in other projects that will help strengthen Pakistan’s economy and restore investor confidence.”


“This is a win-win situation for all parties,” commented Daniel Cotti, managing director of ABN AMRO Bank’s Global Trade & Advisory’s business unit. “As one of the most active trade finance banks in Pakistan, ABN AMRO builds stronger ties with IFC and provides vital funding to a cross section of the private sector. This facility enables us to strengthen our competitive position in the global market, and we look forward to possible future partnerships with IFC and other financial institutions in other countries.”


Netherlands-based ABN AMRO Bank N.V. (
www.abnamro.com) is a leading global trade bank with more than 175 years of experience in intermediating and financing global commerce. Global Trade and Advisory operates in more then 60 countries and provides integrated trade solutions for importers, exporters and financial institutions by offering risk mitigation, settlement, financing and information solutions.

One of the world’s largest banks, ABN AMRO has total assets of more than EUR 600 billion.  ABN AMRO’s activities are grouped into three strategic business units: Wholesale Clients, which provides integrated corporate and investment banking services to corporate, financial institution and public sector clients worldwide; Consumer & Commercial Clients, which focuses on retail and small and medium-size enterprises in a number of core markets; and Private Clients & Asset Management, which focuses on private banking and fund management clients.


IFC’s mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Since its founding in 1956, IFC has committed more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged $21 billion in syndications for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's committed portfolio at the end of FY02 was $15.1 billion, with an additional $6.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications. For more information on IFC, please visit
www.ifc.org.