By Massoud Derhally
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank and Citibank signed a US$60 million trade enhancement facility designed to help private sector Egyptian importers with financing for the import of capital goods and raw materials.
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank and Citibank signed a US$60 million trade enhancement facility designed to help private sector Egyptian importers with financing for the import of capital goods and raw materials. The four-year revolving facility will give private sector businesses in Egypt better access to qualifying trade credit instruments originated by selected commercial banks. The facility will include five banks in Egypt—National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Egyptian American Bank, Export Development Bank of Egypt and Misr International Bank. IFC will guarantee 50% of each transaction. “This facility will enhance the availability of trade finance to Egyptian importers by helping supplement country limits currently available to commercial banks operating in Egypt,” said Karl Voltaire, IFC’s director for global financial markets. “It will help maintain the level of trade finance flows to the private sector in Egypt at a time when such finance is needed.” Sami Haddad, IFC’s Director for the Middle East and North Africa, added, “Given the various adverse external shocks, it is particularly important to maintain trade flows since they contribute significantly to the level of economic activity in Egypt. IFC is also considering participating in other projects that will help strengthen Egypt’s economy and restore investor confidence.” Egypt is the Corporation’s twelfth largest exposure country. As of end-January 2003, IFC’s exposure in Egypt was US$268 million for IFC’s own account plus another US$335 million for the account of participants in IFC’s B-loan program. As of March 25, 2003, IFC’s exposure to Egypt’s financial sector in terms of disbursed and outstanding was US$33 million. IFC’s mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. Since it’s founding in 1956, IFC has committed more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged $21 billion in syndications for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries.