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Private Equity Funds in Middle East and North Africa Promoted by IFC and Algeria’s CARE


In Algeria:
Malik Faraoun
Phone: + 213 (21) 54 80 10

Fax:         + 213 (21) 54 95 82
Email:
Mfaraoun@ifc.org


Algiers, December 5, 2005—Cercle d’Action et de Réflexion autour de l’Entreprise (CARE),  a nonprofit Algerian business association, and the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, recently organized a conference in Algiers on the role of private equity funds in the development of Algeria’s private sector.

The conference was the first of its kind in Algeria.  It furthered a debate with stakeholders on best practices and techniques for developing private equity funds in the Middle East and North Africa in order to improve access to finance in Algeria. Lack of access to diversified sources of finance is considered one of the country’s largest obstacles to doing business.


The conference brought together various local and regional private equity players and emphasized the role of private equity funds as catalysts for economic development. It also focused on the legal framework of such funds, regional experiences, and testimonials of local companies that had been financed by private equity funds.  


“This conference was conceived as a constructive dialogue between the public and private spheres, and as a source of proposals for optimizing the life cycle of private equity funds in Algeria, from fund raising, to investment, to monitoring, and finally exiting deals,” said Samy Boukaila, the President of CARE.


Abdelkader Allaoua, IFC’s Associate Director for the Middle-East and North Africa, added, “This first initiative has raised the interest of local and regional private equity players in contributing to the development of Algeria’s capital markets. It also helped share best practices derived from IFC’s experience as well as identify the conditions necessary for a successful private equity industry in terms of regulation and professional management. The extensive exchange between local entrepreneurs and representatives of private equity funds during the conference is a good barometer of the market’s potential.”
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CARE is a pioneering local think-tank founded in 2002 by a group of about 20 young business managers. Its mission is to think, act, communicate, and contribute to the improvement and development of the local business and social environment.


The conference was supported by IFC’s Private Enterprise Partnership for the Middle East and North Africa, which is IFC’s technical assistance facility that supports private sector development in the region. PEP-MENA focuses on improving the business-enabling and regulatory environment in the region; strengthening the financial sector; promoting the growth of small and medium enterprises and their support services, such as business organizations and consulting firms; helping privatize state-owned enterprises; and developing viable private sector and public-private partnership projects, especially in infrastructure.


The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and 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.

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http://www.ifc.org/pressroom