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IFC Supports Major Breakthrough in China’s Green Banking Industrial Bank Adopts Equator Principles

Beijing, China, October 31, 2008 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, warmly welcomes the announcement by China’s Industrial Bank that it has adopted the Equator Principles, becoming the first financial institution in China to adopt the principles. This represents a major breakthrough in the development of “green” banking in China, which promotes innovative products to support energy efficiency for small and medium enterprises.  It also confirms the bank’s commitment to sustainability and leadership in corporate social responsibility.
“Industrial Bank’s decision to adopt the Equator Principles illustrates how Chinese companies can increasingly take on a leadership role in the global economy,” said World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick. “It is also a good example of how cooperation between the World Bank Group and China can yield benefits for people inside China and beyond.”
The Equator Principles are a voluntary set of guidelines for managing environmental and social issues related to the financing of development projects. They are based on IFC’s performance standards. Industrial Bank’s adoption of the principles is a demonstration of its far-sighted strategy, as well as confirmation of strong support for the Green Credit Policy promoted by the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the People’s Bank of China, and the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
“As a leading commercial bank in China, Industrial Bank’s adoption of the Equator Principles is a step forward for the Chinese banking industry," said IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Lars Thunell. "IFC is pleased that, despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, Industrial Bank has forged ahead with this initiative, which makes good business sense in the long run."
"We will continue to support its efforts to integrate sustainability throughout its operations,” Thunell added. He also noted that application of agreed environmental and social standards for project finance around the world will improve the quality and impact of projects.
The Equator Principles have become the global standard for project finance and have transformed the funding of major projects globally. More than 60 financial institutions have adopted the principles to date. Altogether, these banks are estimated to arrange about 85 percent of project financing worldwide.
IFC has been a leader in setting standards for environmental and social sustainability and in sharing its experiences in applying its performance standards with financial institutions around the globe. In China, IFC is partnering with the government and banks to introduce sound environmental and social standards, including the Equator Principles, and to support the transformation of the Chinese financial sector towards sustainability.
For more information on the Equator Principles, including a list of institutions having adopted the Principles, visit www.equator-principles.com .
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information about IFC visit www.ifc.org .
About Industrial Bank
Founded in 1988, Industrial Bank is a national joint-stock commercial bank in China and operates about 400 offices in 40 branches and with over 12,000 employees. The bank is listed on Shanghai Stock Exchange (Stock Code: 601166) with total registered capital of RMB 5 billion.  Total assets as of June 30, 2008 were RMB 916.964 billions, and relevant shareholders’ equity was RMB 43.832 billion. Industrial Bank realized net profit of RMB 6.544 billion from January to June of 2008. For more information, please visit www.cib.com.cn .