WASHINGTON D.C. /KARACHI, May 19, 2003—International
Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group,
has signed an agreement to provide a senior loan of $7.75 million and a
subordinated loan of $1.5 million to the Pakistan International Container
Terminal Ltd for the development and operation of a container terminal
at the Karachi port under a 21-year concession agreement granted by the
Karachi Port Trust. OPEC Fund is expected to provide a parallel senior
loan of $7.75 million.
Premier Mercantile Services, a longtime Pakistani container operator at
the Karachi port, is the project sponsor. Hamburg Port Consulting
is expected to provide technical services. “ PICT would be the first port
project financed by IFC in Pakistan. I am also delighted that through PICT,
IFC has pioneered OPEC Fund to the private sector in the country.
In addition it also makes me very proud that through AKD Securities
support PICT would be the first port project in the history of the country
to be listed on Karachi Stock Exchange” said Haleem Siddiqui, Chairman
“IFC’s investment will improve container handling efficiency at the Karachi
port and benefit shipping lines, exporters and importers through lower
transport costs and higher service levels. It will encourage
trade and contribute to the overall economic growth in Pakistan,"
said Francisco Tourreilles, Director of IFC's Infrastructure Department”.
“IFC’s support is essential to catalyze interests of other investors.
This is especially critical given the current uncertainties faced
by the region,” noted Sami Haddad, Regional Director of IFC.
Investing in port projects has been a key part of IFC's strategy in promoting
private sector participation in the infrastructure sector. Over the
past ten years, IFC has invested almost $300 million in 22 ports across
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 US$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.