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IFC to Provide $3 Million to Facilitate Trade in the West Bank and Gaza


In the Middle East and North Africa:
Riham Mustafa

Email:
rmustafa@ifc.org
Phone: 00202-246914230


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.


About IFC

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.

About AIB
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.