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IFC Finances China Flooring to Buy Plantations, Promote Sustainable Forestry Management

Beijing, January 30, 2013 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has agreed to provide $40 million in financing to China Flooring Holding Co. to help the company purchase plantations and promote sustainable forestry management in China.
IFC’s financing to China Flooring consists of a $30 million long-term loan and a $10 million convertible loan, which will be used to fund its working capital and acquire forest plantations in southern China. IFC holds a 7.29 percent stake in the company.  
“IFC’s continued financial and technical support is critical for our growth, in such a challenging time of China’s construction slowdown,” said Se Hok-pan, chairman of China Flooring. “With IFC’s support, we are able to adopt good international forestry practices to enhance our operations and branding.”
Since its first investment in 2008, IFC has partnered with the company to bring its environmental and social performance up to the next level, including the membership of World Wild Fund for Nature’s Global Forest Trade Network to improve wood-sourcing traceability.
China Flooring is now applying for the Forest Stewardship Council’s Forest Management Certification, an international benchmark, for its plantations in Yunnan. The company has committed to certifying all plantations it acquires in the next few years.  
“IFC is committed to promoting solutions that protect the environment and the interests of local communities while developing productive forest resources at the same time,” said Vipul Prakash, IFC’s director for manufacturing, agribusiness and services in Asia Pacific. “Through our partnership with China Flooring, we hope to set up a sustainable forestry model for more Chinese businesses to follow. It fits well with our strategic priority of promoting socially and environmentally sustainable growth in China.”
China Flooring, the biggest seller of flooring materials in China, was listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2011. Its products are sold under the brand name of Nature.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org .
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