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IFC recognizes SMBC Leadership in Trade Finance with Award, Deepens Partnership

Tokyo, March 30, 2018-  IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today recognized the leadership of its partner Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) in providing trade finance in emerging markets. SMBC was presented the 2017 Best Trade Finance Portfolio Partner Award by Philippe Le Houérou, IFC Chief Executive Officer on March 28, 2018 during his visit to Tokyo.
At discussion in Tokyo after the presentation of the award, IFC and SMBC pledged to deepen their existing partnership and discussed their shared commitment to emerging market trade, which is critical to economic growth and job creation.
IFC Chief Executive Officer, Philippe Le Houérou said, “IFC welcomes the innovative approaches and solutions from SMBC to offer trade finance in challenging markets, including in Sub-Saharan Africa. We hope this award encourages other banks to follow their lead, especially at a time when some banks are reducing their exposure to emerging markets trade, due to regulatory and other issues. We are concerned that emerging market countries, especially the world’s poorest, don’t lose access to trade finance.”
Makoto Takashima, President and Chief Executive Officer of SMBC said, “It is our great honor to receive IFC’s trade award.  SMBC is delighted to work with IFC to support imports to and exports from emerging markets.  We are planning to further expand our outreach to emerging markets’ counterparts with our innovative solutions .
IFC chose SMBC for the award from amongst its network of global partner banks in recognition of shared values, commitment and years of productive collaboration. IFC’s engagement with SMBC through IFC’s Global Trade Liquidity Program (GTLP) has increased to $1 billion in 2017. In addition, SMBC has been among the most active banks under IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program with an impressive track record of more than $1.5 billion of transactions, ranking especially high in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The transactions supported include imports to Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, with goods as diverse as trucks, tractors, sewing machines and medical equipment to sugar, powdered milk, frozen fish, and sesame seeds.
The award is an important milestone for the growing partnership between IFC and SMBC.  SMBC has proven to be an excellent IFC partner over the years beyond trade finance, with positive collaborations in several key business areas, including strategic co-investments, loan syndications, and private equity investments.
IFC and SMBC recently held a joint workshop in London to discuss further collaboration opportunities in Africa. As Japan prepares to host the seventh Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama in 2019, IFC expects to expand its partnerships with SMBC and other Japanese financial institutions through deeper and broader collaboration in Africa, as well as other emerging countries.
About SMBC
SMBC is one of the largest commercial banks in Japan with an extensive network and growing international presence. The Bank has offices in 39 countries and regions in the Americas, Europe, Middle-East, Africa, Asia and Oceania. As of September 30, 2017, the Bank had total assets of ¥166,253.0 billion, of which total loans constituted 46% or ¥76,231.8 billion. Total deposits equaled ¥106,907.5 billion and total stockholders’ equity of ¥6,281.2 billion at the end of the period. SMBC is rated “A” by Fitch, “A” by Standard & Poor’s, and “A1” by Moody’s. For more information, visit
About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit