Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 31 May 2012
– IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed a risk-sharing agreement today with the International Bank for the Trade and Industry of the Ivory Coast (BICICI). This agreement, IFC’s first investment in the Ivorian banking sector since the end of the conflict, should enable BICICI to increase its funding to small and medium enterprises (SME) by 20 billion CFA Francs.
This new investment fund is primarily targeted at SMEs active in agribusiness, health, public works and transportation sectors.
“One of IFC’s missions is to help post-conflict countries rebuild their economies through the private sector. The aim of this investment is not only to support the recovery of the Ivorian financial sector but to also help this sector benefit SMEs, which are key to the country’s economy”, stated Cassandra Colbert, IFC resident representative in Ivory Coast.
“With IFC’s investment, we can develop a larger SME loan portfolio quicker. While the Ivory Coast economy is recovering, BICICI wants to actively participate in the reconstruction of our county by assisting SMEs to do business,” asserted Fabien Riquet, Director and General Manager of BICICI, subsidiary of the BNP Paribas Group.
Ivorian SMEs face numerous difficulties including limited access to funding from commercial banks. This impossibility of getting funding has meant that many businesses have not been able to resume trade since the end of the conflict.
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, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit
The International Bank for Trade and Industry of Ivory Coast (
) was created in 1962. With its network of 31 agencies spread throughout the Ivory Coast, BICICI is one of the countries largest banking institutions. It also holds strong positions with individual, professional, business and institutional clienteles. After receiving its first ISO 9001:2000 certification for its credit and documented discount activities, BICICI has just obtained a second ISO certification for its credit management, documented discounts and national and international transfer orders. Awarded the BNP Paribas Prize for Innovation for its Mobile Banking – Orange Money product, BICICI provides a wide range of innovative account management, funding and savings services. As part of the BNP Paribas Group, it can also assist clients with their international transactions and activities.
*The BNP Paribas Prize for Innovation is awarded each year to the most innovative products and services created within the Group.
*In Africa, thanks to its strong regional presence with its BICI subsidiaries, the BNP Paribas Group is a major actor in the UEMOA (West African Economic and Monetary Union).