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IFC PROVIDES LOCAL CURRENCY GUARANTEE FACILITY TO A COMMERCIAL BANK IN COTE D’IVOIRE —Long-Term Funding in Local Currency for Domestic Enterprises—


L. Joseph
Phone: (202) 473-7700
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: ljoseph@ifc.org


 WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 12—The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will provide  a local currency guarantee facility to Banque Atlantique-Côte d’Ivoire, a successful domestic commercial bank in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.  The new facility will help the Bank to raise local medium-term resources of up to CFA Francs 1.5 billion (US$2.5 million equivalent) for on-lending to private local enterprises.

An agreement to this effect was signed in Abidjan today by Mr. Paul Peeters, Managing Director of Banque Atlantique-Côte d’Ivoire and Mr. Luciano Borin, IFC’s Regional Representative for Western Africa, based in Abidjan, in the presence of Messrs. Antoine Courcelle-Labrousse and Peer Stein, IFC’s Investment Officers.


This is IFC’s second financing to Banque Atlantique-Côte d’Ivoire and the second local currency guarantee by IFC to an Ivorian financial institution.  The guarantee will cover principal and interest of the Bank’s CFA Francs-denominated borrowings.  It will enable Banque Atlantique to fund the investment needs of Ivorian private enterprises while limiting their  exposure to foreign exchange risk.


Mr. Cesare Calari, Director of IFC’s Africa Department, said, “This project is expected to improve the overall efficiency and depth of Côte d’Ivoire’s banking sector through increased competition among banks and better intermediation of local resources.  This is consistent with IFC’s strategy in Côte d’Ivoire to promote the development of a competitive financial sector and to encourage the mobilization of domestic savings.  We think that IFC’s local currency guarantees products are an efficient tool to implement this strategy”.


In addition to providing the facility, IFC will help Banque Atlantique to identify potential lenders in the CFA Franc zone and to structure the long-term debt instruments benefiting from IFC’s guarantee.


IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral source of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing countries.  In Cote d’Ivoire, since 1965, IFC has invested US$239 million in 47 projects, of which US$197 million was for its own account.