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IFC Buys Petra Diamonds Bonds to Modernize South Africa Mine and Support Economic Growth

Johannesburg, May 14, 2015 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has purchased $30 million of notes issued by a subsidiary of Petra Diamonds Limited to help attract international investors to the South African mining sector, a major driver of economic growth and job creation in the country.
IFC was an anchor investor in the sale, sending a positive signal to other investors for Petra’s first bond offering, which was heavily over-subscribed and raised a total of $300 million. Proceeds from the notes, which were issued by Petra Diamonds US$ Treasury Plc and carried a coupon of 8.25%, will allow Petra to build a new, energy efficient processing plant at Cullinan, a 112 year-old mine which employs about 1,360 people.
“We are committed to supporting Petra as it develops and optimizes its operations in South Africa in a sustainable way. We hope the successful bond issuance opens the door to more diversified financing sources for the mining sector,” said Namrata Thapar, IFC Global Head of Mining.
The mining sector contributes about 18 percent of South Africa’s gross domestic product and over 50 percent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings. It is also a major generator of jobs in the country. Cullinan, located near Pretoria, is the world’s only significant source of rare blue diamonds and is famous as the source of the largest gem diamond ever found: the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond discovered in 1905.
As part of its efforts to support the development of capital markets, IFC helps private sector companies in emerging markets access international and domestic bond markets. Petra is a long-term IFC client – the notes purchase follows a $40 million IFC loan to the company in 2010 to support the expansion of the Williamson diamond mine in Tanzania.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In fiscal 2014, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit