Ramallah, November 6, 2008—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, will provide a $3 million trade finance
line to the Arab Islamic Bank, allowing it to facilitate trade in the West
Bank and Gaza by providing guarantees against clients’ trade transactions.
The Arab Islamic Bank is the third bank in West Bank and Gaza to join the
IFC Global Trade Finance Program. The program strengthens banks’ capacity
to deliver trade financing by providing risk mitigation in challenging
markets. Since the program began in 2005, IFC has issued more than $2.5
billion worth of guarantees for more than 3,000 individual transactions.
“Joining an extensive network of countries and banks will help us expand
our trade finance transactions,” said Atiyeh Shananier, AIB General Manager
In October 2008, IFC approved a $500 million increase to the program, raising
its ceiling to $1.5 billion. The expansion of the program enhances IFC’s
counter-cyclical role and its ability to respond to the global credit crisis
by supporting trade with emerging markets.
In the financial sector, IFC focuses on assisting local Palestinian banks
because they are the most committed to providing access to finance to underserved
segments of the economy. IFC is working with Palestinian banks in three
areas—housing finance, student loans, and trade finance.
IFC is supporting trade finance operations with two other local banks.
Al Rafah Microfinance Bank and Bank of Palestine have joined IFC’s trade
finance network and are benefiting from market-driven pricing on guarantees.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2
billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For
more information, visit www.ifc.org.
The Arab Islamic Bank was incorporated as a Palestinian public shareholding
company in Jericho in 1995. The Bank operates from its head office in El-Bireh
and has seven branches and one office operating in the West Bank and Gaza
Strip. The Bank offers a wide range of Islamic finance products for retail
and commercial banking. For more information, visit www.aibnk.com.