Washington D.C., June 24, 2003
—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has agreed to provide a $15 million loan to support the expansion of Cairo-based Metro Markets L.L.C., Egypt’s largest food retailer. The transaction will help foster the development of a formal retail food sector in the country and promote improved environmental practices through Metro Markets’ distribution chain.
Metro Markets plans to expand its retail store network in Cairo, Alexandria, Ismailia, Hurghada and Mansoura, helping the company achieve economies of scale and contributing to the formalization the domestic retail sector. The company is controlled by the Mansour Group, one of Egypt’s leading private sector conglomerates. The IFC loan will also support the modernization of the Mansour-owned
dairy food and juice drink processing plant Siclam as it becomes Egypt’s first privately owned integrated dairy plant. The strategy of Mansour is to create a consumer business that incorporates manufacturing, distribution and retailing.
“This investment highlights IFC’s commitment to Egypt’s private sector development, which is key to economic advancement,” said Sami Haddad, IFC director for the Middle East and North Africa region. He added, “This Egyptian-owned retail chain will add to the rapidly growing retail sector and services in general while also strengthening the retail distribution network. The modernization of the Siclam plant will make more efficient the way it handles and uses raw material, energy and labor, and will improve hygiene and wastewater treatment at the plant.”
The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY02, IFC has committed more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged $21 billion in syndications for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio as of FY02 was $15.1 billion for its own account and $6.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.