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IFC Invests in Largest Software Outsourcing House in the Philippines

Manila, July 21, 2003— The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, led a group of investors, including JAFCO Asia Technology Fund (JAFCO), in a $10.3 million equity investment in Software Ventures International Corporation (SVI), the largest software outsourcing company in the Philippines.  Ms. Farida Khambata, IFC’s vice president for portfolio and risk management, who arrived today on an official visit to the Philippines, said, “The Philippines has all the ingredients necessary to take a global lead in service outsourcing.  With a target market that continues to grow rapidly and underlying economics that have never been better, outsourcing is becoming a key industry for Asia.   Service outsourcing is an increasingly larger portion of the sector.”  
The funds will help SVI expand its capacity in software services, as well as call center and business process outsourcing.  The service outsourcer industry is an area where IFC sees an increasing number of investment opportunities and where it believes it has an important role to play.  SVI was one of the pioneers of the industry in the Philippines.  The company employs over 2,500 people and generates over $40 million in annual revenues, primarily through services to Fortune 500 companies in the United States, Europe, and Japan.  Its recent expansion into call centers and business process outsourcing is part of a strategic repositioning that will make SVI a one-stop shop for outsourcing needs of its clients.  
Gil V. Guanio, President and CEO of SVI noted, “Our business highlights and builds upon the competitive advantages of our country.  We expect a low-cost, high-quality labor force to be a long-term advantage for the Philippines.  As we expand our labor pool, we are also improving the skills of our existing  workforce, thus strengthening our competitiveness and enhancing our offerings.”
Mohsen Khalil, Director of the World Bank Group’s Global Information and Communication Technologies Department (GICT), added, “IFC sees that technology and enhanced telecommunications are changing the dynamics of labor markets.  Services, which was, until recently, largely a local industry, is now increasingly global.  SVI aspires to play a significant role in this reconfigured, global industry, and IFC wants to support its growth.  Our investment is part of our commitment to the emerging markets and our belief that they will increasingly be more relevant to the developed economies of the West.”
IFC’s mission ( www.ifc.org ) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries.  IFC finances private sector investments in emerging markets, 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.
The World Bank Group’s Global Information and Communication Technologies Department ( www.worldbank.org/ict ) promotes the transfer of communication and information technologies to the developing world.  The Information Technologies Investment Division, part of GICT, is a stage-independent investor with an exclusive focus on building successful information technology businesses in emerging markets. Formed in mid-2000, the group brings a global perspective to information technology, a long-term approach to investments, and an ability to leverage the resources of the entire World Bank Group as well as a commitment to maximize the value of its portfolio companies through sustained strategic assistance.