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IFC, IFC Capitalization Fund, and IFC ALAC Fund Invest in Ecobank to Strengthen Financial Sector, Support Growth across Africa


In Washington:
Alexandra Klopfer

Phone: +1 (202) 473 4645

E-mail:
aklopfer@ifc.org

In Johannesburg:

Houtan Bassiri

Phone: +27 11 731 3179

E-mail:
hbassiri@ifc.org


Washington, D.C./Lome, Togo, July 1, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and IFC Asset Management Company today announced a series of investments in Ecobank Transnational Incorporated and its group subsidiaries that will help strengthen the financial sector across several African countries and support the region’s recovery from the impact of the recent turmoil in global financial markets.

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated is a leading Pan-African bank, with subsidiaries in more countries in the region than any other bank. Its subsidiaries are major contributors to economic activity in some of the world’s poorest countries. By providing capital to a regionally systemic financial institution, the investments will strengthen the banking sector and ease access to credit for underserved segments of the market, such as small and medium enterprises.


The investments totaling $175 million consist of:

       A $131.4 million investment consisting of a $56.4 million senior convertible loan and a $75 million senior non-convertible loan from IFC Capitalization Fund, funded by IFC and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and managed by IFC Asset Management Company, in ETI, the banking group’s Togo-based holding company.  

       An $18.8 million senior convertible loan in ETI by the IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund, managed by IFC Asset Management Company.
       A subordinated loan of $12.5 million from IFC to Ecobank Kenya

       A subordinated loan of $3 million from IFC to Ecobank Liberia

       Local currency denominated loans to Ecobank subsidiaries in Cameroon, Central African Republic, and Chad totalling 10 billion CFA ($9.4 million equivalent) using proceeds from the IFC CFA Bond issue in Central Africa.


Arnold Ekpe, CEO of the Ecobank Group, said, “The investments from IFC, IFC Capitalization Fund, and IFC ALAC Fund will strengthen Ecobank’s capital base and enable us to continue to consolidate our expanded operations and translate our new scale and footprint into value for our customers. Ecobank will use the financing to maintain credit provision in Africa’s most challenging economies.”


Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, said, “Ecobank and IFC share a strong commitment to supporting sustainable economic growth in Africa by building inclusive financial markets. IFC looks forward to strengthening our strategic partnership with Ecobank to bring financial services to people and places that need them the most.”  

Gavin Wilson, CEO of the IFC Asset Management Company, said: “Ecobank is a champion of African growth. We are pleased to be investing in the next phase of its success and to be supporting the positive impact it has on the markets it serves."


IFC’s relationship with Ecobank started 17 years ago with an investment in Ecobank Ghana. Since then, IFC has invested in a number of the group’s subsidiaries, as well as in the group’s holding company in 1999 and 2008. IFC has also supported improvements in the group’s governance structure and social and environmental standards. The banking group is one of IFC’s most important clients in Sub-Saharan Africa.


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 capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. 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 ALAC Fund.

About the IFC Capitalization Fund

The $3 billion IFC Capitalization Fund is a global equity and subordinated debt fund that aims to support banks considered vital to the financial system of an emerging market country. By supporting systemic institutions, the fund aims to speed up economic recovery and boost job creation while reducing the impact of the financial crisis.

About Japan Bank for International Cooperation

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) is the international wing of the Japan Finance Corporation, Japan’s policy-based financing institution established on October 1, 2008. It succeeded International Financial Operations of the former JBIC and will continue to use the name JBIC to maintain international trust and confidence it has gained. JBIC provides policy-based finance with a mission to contribute to the sound development of the Japanese and international economy, including finance responding to disruptions in financial order in the international economy. For more information, visit
www.jbic.go.jp.

About the IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund

The IFC ALAC Fund is a co-investment fund that invests alongside IFC in equity investments in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin American and the Caribbean. It helps mobilize long-term capital for growth in the poorest regions of the world.


About Ecobank

Incorporated in Lome, Togo, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) is the parent company of the leading independent regional banking group in Africa. It currently has a presence in 30 African countries. ETI is listed the stock exchanges in Lagos, Accra and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) – the BRVM. Ecobank is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals. For more information, visit
www.ecobank.com.