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Male, Maldives, May 14, 2003
—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will provide financing amounting to $15 million to Villa Shipping and Trading Company Private Limited, one of the largest private companies in the Maldives.
An existing IFC client, Villa has interests in tourism and trading, operates five resorts, and imports diesel and other fuel for sale in the Maldives. IFC has also helped mobilize an additional $10.5 million by bringing in other international institutions as parallel lenders.
IFC’s financing will assist the company in its $41 million investment program to expand storage facilities, strengthen its capital structure, and improve environment, health, and safety management at its resorts.
In addition to providing financing to the company, IFC also organized a two-day training seminar on performance management, team work, communication, and customer service, as well as a workshop on environmental management. The workshop was arranged with Japanese trust funds and included other resort operators in the Maldives.
Noting that IFC’s partnership with Villa dates to1997 and has been a critical factor in supporting the company’s growth, Mr. Quasim Ibrahim, chairman and managing director, observed, “Over the years, Villa has benefited from IFC’s experience in international best practice in areas such as environmental management and corporate governance, which are key to a sustainable business.”
“Villa is an example of the kind of added value IFC can bring to entrepreneurs in the Maldives,” remarked Mr. Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC director for South Asia. He added that IFC would continue to help the Maldivian economy through direct support and by mobilizing financing from other international institutions.
Villa was incorporated in 1986 as a trading company. In 1988, the company diversified into tourism and is currently the largest resort operator in the Maldives with a 12 percent share of total industry capacity. The trading operation is supported by a fleet of eight ships and tankers.
IFC's mission 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. Since its founding in 1956 through the close of the last fiscal year on June 30, 2002, IFC 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 committed portfolio at the end of FY02 was $15.1 billion for its own account and $6.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.
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