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IFC Helps Private Sector Boost Incomes and Job Opportunities in Angola


Contact:
In Washington:

Ahmed Badawi-Malik

Phone: (202) 458-7148

Email:
Abadawi@ifc.org


Washington D.C., February 9, 2004—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, formally announced a $0.7 million investment agreement today for a 14.3 percent equity stake in NovoBanco Enterprise Bank of Angola.

NovoBanco will provide credit and other financial services to micro and small enterprises in Angola. The investment underscores a key aim of IFC’s post war strategy for the country, as noted by Haydée Celaya, IFC director for Sub-Saharan Africa: “IFC is committed to supporting and strengthening the financial sector in Angola to promote the development and growth of entrepreneurs in the micro and small business sectors.” She added that “we are very pleased to support NovoBanco, which we hope will, in a very short time, become the leading provider of credit and banking services to micro and small businesses in the country.”


IFC’s investment in NovoBanco should bring a number of other benefits to Angola by boosting private sector wealth and job creation, increasing confidence in the banking sector, and modernizing microfinance techniques. It is hoped that NovoBanco will demonstrate to potential long-term private investors that Angola can be an attractive destination for non-hydrocarbons sector investment. It will also help encourage sustainable private sector development by being a model of “best practices” in financial transparency, employee training, corporate governance, and environmental standards for financial institutions in the country.


Total initial capitalization of NovoBanco amounts to $4.9 million equivalent. Internationale Micro Investitionen AG, a German private investment company in which IFC also has an equity stake, is the largest shareholder in NovoBanco with  42.9 percent of NovoBanco’s shares. Other shareholders in NovoBanco include equity stakes of 14.3 percent each held by The Netherlands’ Stichting DOEN, Belgium’s Belgische Investeringsmaatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden and ChevronTexaco Sustainable Development Company Ltd, registered in Bermuda.


Commenting on the other stakeholders in NovoBanco, Haydée Celaya remarked that “we would also like to welcome Chevron Texaco Sustainable Development Company to the group of like-minded investors joining IFC to support access to finance for low-income people in Africa. This is a significant development in the growth of the microfinance sector in Africa.”


IFC, Chevron Texaco, the United States Agency for International Development, and the World Bank Group-administered Norwegian Trust Fund for Private Sector and Infrastructure provided technical assistance funding for the NovoBanco project.


The mission of IFC (
www.ifc.org) 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, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY03, IFC has committed more than $37 billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY03 was $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held for participants in loan syndications.