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IFC, IFC Asset Management Company Funds Invest in Banque Centrale Populaire to Support Expansion, SME Lending in Morocco and Sub-Saharan Africa

Rabat, Morocco, September 27, 2012— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and two funds managed by IFC Asset Management Company are investing in Morocco-based Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP), helping the bank to expand operations and support smaller businesses in Morocco and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The $204 million investment will give IFC and the two IFC Asset Management Company funds a joint 5 percent stake in BCP, which is a leader in lending to small and medium enterprises. The investment will support the growth of the bank in Morocco and help it expand in Sub-Saharan Africa, where access to finance, in particular for smaller firms, remains a challenge. This is the largest IFC equity investment in a Morocco-based bank to date.
IFC is investing $53.8 million. The IFC Capitalization Fund is investing $127.5 million and the Africa Capitalization Fund is investing $22.7 million. These funds are both managed by IFC Asset Management Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IFC.
“Our partnership with IFC will help provide us with long-term capital as we continue to expand in Morocco and countries outside North Africa,” said Mohamed Benchaaboun, BCP chief executive officer. “It is not only a vote of confidence in BCP, but also in Morocco, which remains a solid country in which to invest.”
The transaction will support cross-border investment and facilitate greater economic and financial integration in the region.
“The regional expansion of BCP will help broaden access to finance for smaller businesses, the backbone of any economy,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “This in turn will help increase competitiveness and spur economic growth in countries where it is needed most.”
The agreement also demonstrates Morocco’s long-term potential as a destination for investment, he said.
“The investment provides a unique opportunity to partner with a leading Moroccan bank as it embarks upon an expansion in both its home market as well as Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Marcos Brujis, head of the IFC Capitalization Fund and the Africa Capitalization Fund.
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 $2.9 billion in the region, 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, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit .
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, founded by IFC and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation; the $1 billion IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund; and the $182 million Africa Capitalization Fund, whose investors are Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, African Development Bank, CDC Group plc, European Investment Bank, OPEC Fund for International Development, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.
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