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IFC Issues Local Currency Bond in Central Africa: []Bond Will Strengthen Capital Markets, Increase Lending to Smaller Businesses[]

Douala, Cameroon, November 10, 2009 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced it has become the first non-local financial institution to issue a Central African franc-denominated (XAF) bond. Proceeds from the bond will support lending to small and medium enterprises in six countries in central Africa and help strengthen capital markets in the region.
The XAF 20 billion ($43 million equivalent), five-year tenor bond will be listed on the regional exchange in Libreville (BVMAC) and on the Doula Stock Exchange. It will be tax-exempt in all six countries in the Economic and Monetary Community of the Central African (CEMAC) zone.
“Through this bond, IFC will help develop local capital markets and support long-term local currency financing for local companies,” said IFC Vice President Finance and Treasurer Nina Shapiro. “IFC expects to follow this bond issue with other financing directly with clients and in partnership with local financial institutions.”
The bond should be issued by mid-November 2009. This is IFC’s second local currency bond in Sub-Saharan Africa, after the Kola Bond in West Africa in December 2006.
“This bond provides IFC with a unique opportunity to promote regional integration and trade,” said Yolande Duhem, IFC Director for West and Central Africa.  “IFC could not have completed this issue without the sponsorship of Central African governments, who share our commitment to promote sustainable growth in the region.”
The Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa promotes economic integration among members Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon, which share a common currency, the central zone CFA franc. All proceeds from the CFA bond will be reinvested in the zone.
IFC supports the development of local capital markets and strong local financial institutions through a combination of loans, equity, structured finance, and advisory services. The result is increased access to finance, particularly in local currencies, which helps raise living standards and reduce poverty.
IFC committed $1.8 billion of new investments across 30 countries in Africa in the fiscal year ended June, its largest volume in any year since its founding. IFC also delivered $26.1 million worth of advisory services in Africa in fiscal year 2009, up from $18.6 million in 2008.
IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. It is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries, which includes initiatives to help develop local capital markets.
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 $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit .