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IFC’s First Central Bank Swap Provides Local Currency Loan for Agribusiness in Rwanda

Kigali, Rwanda, November 22, 2010 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced the disbursement of its first local currency loan in Rwanda to support agribusiness and help increase the country’s wheat flour supply. This loan is made possible through a swap with Rwanda’s Central Bank.  
IFC’s loan will offer $2.5 million equivalent in Rwandan francs to Bakhresa Grain Milling Rwanda Limited, a flour-milling company in the capital Kigali.  The proceeds will be used to purchase trucks to transport wheat from Dar es Salaam to Kigali.
“Through this loan we can access long-term financing to expand our operations and efficiently increase the supply of wheat to Kigali,” said Mounir Bakhresa, Managing Director of Bakhresa Grain Milling Rwanda.  
IFC provided $8 million earlier this year to Bakhresa to build a flour mill in Kigali with a capacity of 250 tons a day.  The new mill is expected to be commissioned by early next year.  
The swap follows an agreement with the National Bank of Rwanda in December 2009 enabling IFC to provide Rwandan-franc denominated loans for the country’s emerging private sector.  IFC usually offers local currency loans by entering into swaps with major international banks.  There are currently no banks in Rwanda that can provide long-term swaps, so the National Bank of Rwanda will provide IFC with local currency through swaps until a commercial swap market develops.
“The swap agreement enables the National Bank of Rwanda and IFC to collaborate in further developing the country’s financial markets and support the growth of the private sector,” said François Kanimba, Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda.  
Jean-Philippe Prosper, Regional Director of Eastern and Southern Africa, said:  “This transaction supports our strategy in Africa to develop specific financing tools that meet the needs of our local clients and helps support key sectors such as agribusiness.  By working with the Bakhresa Group, IFC is able to create more opportunities for sustainable economic growth in Rwanda.”
IFC hopes to replicate offering local currency loans in other countries that do not yet have a swap market.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit .