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IFC Makes Equity Investment in the African Reinsurance Corporation


In Washington
Georg Schmidt

Phone: +1 (202) 458-2934

Fax:      +1 (202) 974-4384

Email:
Gschmidt@ifc.org


Lagos/Johannesburg/Washington,D.C., February 23, 2005—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement to acquire a minority stake in the African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re), the only Africa-based provider of reinsurance services to the whole continent.

“Africa Re is the most significant locally based reinsurer in Africa and gives critical support to the development of a healthy primary insurance market across the continent,” said Jyrki Koskelo, IFC’s director for Global Financial Markets.  “We are pleased to support the development of this key financial sector institution.”


Richard Ranken, IFC’s regional director for Sub-Saharan Africa, added, “For nearly three decades Africa Re has consistently set the benchmark for the provision of quality reinsurance in Africa.  With the geographic spread of its client base, robust operational results, and well-deserved reputation for superior customer service, Africa Re is an ideal partner for IFC.  This investment is a key component of our strategy to support the development of well-managed primary insurance institutions in Africa.”  


Bakary Kamara, Africa Re’s CEO stated, “In this age of globalization, Africa Re cannot rest on its past achievements. Our company must open up to partners that can add value and further its credibility, operations, records of transparency, and good governance. IFC is such a partner, and Africa Re is proud to have it as a shareholder.”


Africa Re was established in 1976 as an intergovernmental institution by member states of the African Union (formerly Organization of African Unity) and the African Development Bank.  The company’s headquarters are based in Lagos, Nigeria, with a network of regional and underwriting offices across the continent.  


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 FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.