Washington, D.C., May 17, 2006—The
International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, has signed an agreement to provide an eight-year loan of $30
million to Barclays Bank of Ghana Limited, one of Ghana’s leading banks.
This loan represents the largest IFC investment in the financial sector
in Ghana to date.
The IFC loan will provide Barclays Ghana with much-needed term foreign
currency funding to meet the rapidly growing demand for term financing
in one of the most promising economies in West Africa. The loan will help
the bank meet the financing needs of its corporate clients as well as those
of small and medium enterprises—a vital engine of economic growth in Ghana.
Richard Ranken, IFC’s director of the Sub-Saharan Africa Department, said,
"One of our main objectives in Ghana is to deepen financial intermediation
and facilitate the private sector’s access to financing from local financial
institutions like Barclays Ghana. The IFC loan, which will support the
development of export-oriented companies and small and medium enterprises,
has the potential to increase the contributions of these businesses to
the Ghanaian economy.”
Jyrki Koskelo, IFC’s director for Global Financial Markets, said, “IFC
is keen on seeing significant development in the financial markets in Sub-Saharan
Africa and is engaged in several initiatives on the continent. This financing
to Barclays Ghana is a demonstration of IFC’s confidence in the Ghanaian
economy and the future of its financial markets.”
Barclays Ghana, a wholly owned subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC, has been
operating in the country for the past 80 years. With 25 branches around
the country, the bank provides a full range of banking services to its
retail customers, small and medium enterprises, and corporate clients.
As of December 2005, Barclays Ghana’s total assets and shareholders’
funds stood at $540 million and $59 million, respectively.
Margaret Mwanakatwe, Barclays Ghana’s managing director, said, “Barclays
Ghana is extremely pleased with this partnership with IFC. The financing
will help the bank expeditiously meet the term foreign currency needs of
Mwanakatwe added, “The confidence placed in us by IFC demonstrates the
strong position of Barclays in Ghana and is only a prelude to several projects
our two institutions are working on, including those in the housing finance
sector. We look forward to continuing our good cooperation with IFC.”
The International Finance Corporation is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World
Bank Group but is legally and financially independent. Its 178 member countries
provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.
The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment
in developing and transition 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 FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own
funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140
developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was
$19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants
in loan syndications. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.