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IFC and Gulf Capital Sign Investment Agreement to Boost Access to Finance

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, April 1, 2013 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Gulf Capital Credit Opportunities signed an investment agreement today that will help provide long-term financing to mid-sized enterprises in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey, expanding access to finance and creating jobs.
IFC is investing $20 million in Gulf Capital Credit Opportunities, a credit fund sponsored by leading regional fund manager Gulf Capital. The fund will contribute to sustainable economic growth by providing financing to companies in various sectors, including infrastructure, healthcare, education, and manufacturing.
“The credit business is a very important part of Gulf Capital’s long-term growth plans and IFC’s anchor investment is a strong vote of confidence in the fund’s investment strategy,” said Karim El Solh, CEO of Gulf Capital Credit Opportunities.
Walid Cherif, Managing Director and co-Head of Gulf Credit Partners, said, “This investment will mean we can provide greater access to finance to entrepreneurs, who may otherwise find that the lack of financing impairs their ability to function and grow, contributing to the overall economy and job creation.”
Gulf Capital will continue to target companies that are growing and have good prospects of taking on more employees. Its focus will be on the MENA region, including the Gulf, while around 30 percent of investments are earmarked for Turkey.
“More than half of small and medium businesses in the Middle East and North Africa don’t have access to credit,” said K. Aftab Ahmed, IFC Director for Financial Markets and Private Equity Funds, for  Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. “IFC's investment in Gulf Credit will facilitate the availability of much-needed mezzanine financing  to businesses in the region. Investments such as these can help accelerate growth and strengthen good governance.”
This investment builds on a long-standing relationship between IFC and Gulf Capital, which have co-invested in companies in MENA since 2008. Those firms include Metito, a global water utility company, and SES Power, a mobile power provider.
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 .
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