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IFC Partners with Advans S.A. to Set Up Microfinance Bank in Oyo State, Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria, January 27, 2012 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $1.1 million (174.5 million Nigerian naira) alongside Advans S.A., German development bank KfW, and Dutch development bank FMO to establish La Fayette Microfinance Bank in Oyo State, Nigeria.
La Fayette, which is expected to start operations during the fourth quarter of 2012, will serve small and medium enterprises that have limited or no access to formal banking services. Financial surveys indicate that only one in five Nigerian adults owns a bank account, and over half of the country’s adult population  is excluded from access to financial services.
“With the objective of becoming the leading microfinance bank in Oyo State, La Fayette will address a critical gap by providing quality financial services to help small businesses grow and create jobs,” said Claude Falgon, Director of Advans S.A.
Advans S.A. will be La Fayette’s lead shareholder with an equity investment of $3.1 million (501.0 million naira). IFC and KfW are each investing $1.1 million (174.5 million naira), while FMO is investing $940,000 (150.0 million naira).
Within five years, La Fayette expects to establish 11 branches, broadening access to finance and stimulating economic growth across Oyo State.  
“Microfinance is a vital tool in the fight against poverty and forms a core part of IFC’s efforts to support small-scale entrepreneurs in Africa,” said Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, IFC’s Country Manager for Nigeria. “In Nigeria, IFC aims to increase the number of commercially viable microfinance institutions, especially in under-served areas like Oyo State, so that a vibrant private sector can give rise to economic growth.”  
IFC has a long-standing partnership with Advans S.A., which is building a network of microfinance institutions in developing countries across Africa and Asia. IFC is also a shareholder of Advans network banks in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, and Ghana. The Nigeria investment reaffirms IFC’s partnership with Advans SA. to support entrepreneurs in Africa.
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, 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 .
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About Advans S.A.
Advans S.A. Sicar (Advans S.A.) is headquartered in Luxembourg and was launched in December 2005. Its mission is to build a network of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in developing and emerging countries to cater to the financial needs of micro, small, and medium sized enterprises, which have limited or no access to formal banking services. The Advans network currently spans six countries: Cambodia, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Tanzania. Advans MFIs serve more than 286,000 loan clients from 85 branches, and have an outstanding loan portfolio of €95 million. Over the next three years, Advans SA plans to establish six to seven new MFIs in Africa, Asia, and the Middle-East. For more information, please visit .