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IFC INVESTS US$6.1 MILLION IN THE FRAMLINGTON MAGHREB FUND


L. Joseph
(202) 473-7700



WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 12 -- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has approved an equity investment of US$6.1 million to establish the Framlington Maghreb Fund, an equity fund which will make investments in companies listed on the stock exchanges of Morocco and Tunisia. This is the first equity fund in the Maghreb region. IFC has also approved an equity investment of 40,000 Moroccan Dirhams (US$ 4,400 equivalent) in the share capital of Framlington Maghreb S.A., the fund's Maghreb-based investment advisor. The Framlington Maghreb Fund will be capitalized at US$30.5 million and will invest in a wide range of industries and local companies with the objective of realizing long-term capital appreciation. The fund was placed by the London-based LCF Edmond de Rothschild Securities, and will be managed by Framlington Investment Management Ltd. (Framlington), a British investment management company, and a subsidiary of Crédit Commercial de France. Framlington Maghreb S.A., a joint venture between Framlington,

Banque Commerciale du Maroc, and IFC, will be the local investment advisor to Framlington for the fund. "As a result of successful government reforms, Morocco and Tunisia offer attractive investment opportunities to foreign and domestic portfolio investors ," said Mr. André Hovaguimian, Director of IFC's Central Asia, Middle East, and North Africa Department. "In addition, the fund offers a professionally managed, convenient vehicle that provides international investors with access to these emerging markets." "Both the Casablanca and the Tunis stock exchanges are poised for take off," added Mr. Jean-Michel Doublet, IFC's Senior Investment Officer. "The fund will serve the heightened interest created by the increase of equities resulting from capital markets reform, strong growth in investment, and promising privatization programs." IFC's participation in the fund is part of its effort to support the emergence of strong and dynamic securities markets in the region and complements the Corporation's extensive t

echnical assistance activities to help develop appropriate securities regulations and establish local stock exchanges. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is the largest multilateral source of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing countries.