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.