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IFC, IFC ALAC Fund Help Extend Insurance Services to Sub-Saharan Africa


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Rabat, Morocco, January 30, 2012 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund are making equity investments in Morocco-based insurance provider Saham Finances to help the company expand into parts of Africa where many people lack health, life, and business insurance coverage.

IFC and the IFC ALAC Fund, managed by IFC Asset Management Company, are investing the Moroccan dirham equivalent of €90 million in Saham Finances. The investment will support the growth of the company, with a focus on extending coverage across sub-Saharan Africa, where rates of insurance coverage are among the lowest in the world.

“IFC has a unique reach and understanding of the financial sector in sub-Saharan Africa, which will be extremely valuable as Saham embarks on its growth plan,” said Moulay Hafid Elalamy, chairman of Saham Finances. “Our partnership with IFC will also help us expand our insurance products into challenging new markets and it is a vote of confidence in our business.”

Saham Finances is a holding company which controls CNIA-SAADA, the third largest insurance company in Morocco; Colina Participations, an insurance group with operations in West and Central Africa; and ISAAF, a leading Morocco-based assistance and travel insurance company. Through its subsidiaries, Saham Finances offers life and non-life insurance to individuals, households, and businesses.

“Increased insurance coverage is a vital component of economic development. It gives private businesses the confidence they need to take risks, grow and create new jobs,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “IFC’s investment in Saham is in line with our strategy to support cross border investments and channel know-how into less developed markets. We look forward to our partnership with Saham and to supporting the company's technical and financial needs as it expands its insurance operations in the region.”

Sujoy Bose, Chief Investment Officer and Head of the IFC ALAC Fund added, “We are pleased to be investing in Saham Finances to support the growth of the company’s operations in Sub-Saharan Africa, one of the fastest-growing insurance markets in the world. We look forward to facilitating Saham’s expansion and growth throughout this region.”

The investment is part of IFC’s efforts in the Middle East and North Africa to promote economic development by supporting private-sector companies. In the last year, IFC has invested over $2 billion in these regions, including mobilization.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About IFC Asset Management Company

IFC Asset Management Company LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IFC, invests third-party capital, enabling outside investors to benefit from IFC’s expertise in achieving strong equity returns as well as positive development impact in the countries in which it invests. It manages the $3 billion IFC Capitalization Fund as well as the IFC ALAC Fund.

About the IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund

The IFC ALAC Fund is a US$1 billion fund that has commitments from six sovereign and pension investors as well as IFC. The Fund was launched in April 2010 and is focused on making equity and equity-related investments in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

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