Algiers, June 30, 2003
—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement to provide a $25 million loan to Ispat Annaba, Algeria’s sole integrated steel producer. The loan will help finance the company’s investment program to modernize operations and improve its environmental performance.
Ispat Annaba was formed in October 2001 to acquire the assets of SIDER, a state-owned holding company. It is located in the port city of Annaba, in eastern Algeria, and manufactures a wide variety of long and flat steel products. The company’s largest shareholder and project sponsor is LNM Holdings, part of the LNM Group, with a 70 percent stake.
“IFC’s investment will support the government’s ongoing privatization program by improving the performance of Algeria’s largest and most successful privatization to date” said Sami Haddad, IFC’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.
The modernization program will generate major benefits for Algeria by helping preserve 12,000 jobs and meet the needs of the country’s growing economy. LNM’s strong commitment to increasing employee training and skills development will raise the technical capacity of the plant’s Algerian staff. In addition, environmental performance is expected to reach world-class standards at both the manufacturing as well as associated mine facilities.
Richard Ranken, IFC’s director of Global Manufacturing and Services, added, “We are very pleased to be supporting the LNM Group in Ispat Annaba because of its importance to the country and its clearly manifested commitment to environmental and social responsibility. They are a highly valued partner for us.”
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. IFC’s portfolio in Algeria tripled this year, reaching $84 million.