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Washington, D.C., July 11, 2000—
The following is a package of brief announcements about IFC transactions signed in the past month for investments that will support private sector enterprises in the developing world.
is a monthly digest of new IFC investments that have not been announced in our regular press releases. More information is available by contacting the Media Relations team listed at the end.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
KENYA: ALUMINUM-ZINC COLD ROLLING MILL
IFC will invest US$11.5 million (including a senior loan of $7 million and a subordinated loan of $4.5 million) in Mabati Rolling Mills Ltd. (Mabati), a cold rolling mill in Mariakani near Mombasa, Kenya. The $30.4 million (KShs.2.28 billion) project will install a new galvanizing and aluminum-zinc (Al-Zn) line near the existing mill, which has a current capacity of 100,000 tons per annum of cold rolled steel. The new line will be able to process cold rolled steel coils into 80,000 tons per annum of galvanized and aluminum-zinc coils for the local and export markets.
The plant will employ state-of-the-art technology and will be the first galvanizing line in Africa capable of producing Al-Zn coated coils, which are longer lasting and have a much higher corrosion resistance than the traditional 100 percent zinc coated galvanized steel. It is in great demand for roofing applications—especially by low-income communities for shelter—and will be used widely in the building and construction industries, domestically and in the region. The project will introduce new technology and new products and create the nucleus for a mini-industrial complex near Mombasa to facilitate exports, boost the town's local businesses, and generate increased foreign exchange earnings.
Mabati belongs to the Comcraft Group, which is owned by the Chandaria and Shah families. The Comcraft Group has a presence in over 30 countries with business interests in Africa, Asia, North America, and Europe. The group is also active in steel, aluminum and nonferrous metals, plastics, chemicals, engineering, electronics, and industrial components
ARMENIA, BELARUS, GEORGIA, THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION, UKRAINE:
PRIVATE ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP
On May 19, 2000, IFC's Board approved a three-year, $12.6 million IFC contribution to the Private Enterprise Partnership (the Partnership) for Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine. IFC expects to complement this contribution with an additional $45 million from donors. Prior to the Board approval, the government of the Netherlands funded the feasibility study and development of the business plan.
The Partnership is a consolidation of IFC's extensive technical assistance program in the region. Since 1991, over $89 million in grant funding has been raised for activities ranging from the privatization of small businesses to the creation of a leasing sector. The main donors include Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK, and USA. The Partnership currently employs 320 local and international staff who are implementing eleven projects.
New projects will focus on the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector and foreign direct investment, the two most important sources of growth in the region. The Partnership will prepare and execute technical assistance projects that will strengthen financial institutions to provide credit to SMEs, improve corporate governance and transparency, and build up as well as modernize local supply chains for foreign investors. The Partnership will also provide on-the-ground advice to the World Bank teams on preparation and execution of structural reforms to improve the region's business environment.
JAPAN: NEW SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE APPOINTED TO IFC'S TOKYO OFFICE
The IFC office in Tokyo, Japan, will have a new special representative—Mr. Motoharu Fujikura of Japan's Ministry of Finance—who has been appointed as its new head. The role of IFC's Tokyo office is to promote IFC's activities in Japan, to enhance Japanese private investment in developing countries, and to encourage Japanese companies and financial institutions to work with IFC as partners. Mr. Fujikura will replace Mr. Morinobu Iritani, who served IFC for six years as special representative in Tokyo.
Mr. Fujikura, who has worked with the Japanese government in various capacities for about 30 years, joined the Ministry of Finance in 1971 and worked in the Securities Bureau (1989-91) and International Finance Bureau (1991-93), where he was director, International Capital Division, supervising international capital flows in and out of Japan. From 1993 to 1997, he worked with the Customs and Tariff Bureau and Yokohama Customs (Director-General); and from 1997 to the present, he has been deputy commissioner for international affairs, where his responsibilities included international tax administration and technical assistance to developing countries. He has also worked with the Asian Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1977-79) and was a member of the Permanent Delegation of Japan to the OECD, 1981-84. He was councilor for security policy and risk management in the Prime Minister's Office from 1987 to 1989. He has a bachelor of law degree from the University of Tokyo.
NEPAL: NEW RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE IN KATHMANDU
In line with its policy of putting more resources in the field, IFC has opened an office in Kathmandu, Nepal. Mr. Sudhir Mittal, who will head up the new office as resident representative, will be based in Kathmandu and will be responsible for establishing IFC's presence in the country.
Mr. Mittal, a Nepalese national, graduated from Tribhuvan University in Nepal. He worked in the private sector in Nepal after graduation; studied for an MBA at INSEAD, France; and joined IFC in September 1991. In his eight years with IFC, he has worked extensively in South and East Asia and in Latin America.
IFC is focusing more attention and resources on building the private sector in small and poor countries like Nepal, where it will concentrate on tourism, infrastructure, agribusiness, and general manufacturing. Due to the size of the economy, IFC's main work in Nepal will be with small and medium enterprises where it will invest directly to provide advisory services and assist the government in formulating private sector-friendly policies.
INDIA: IFC INVESTS IN FLORICULTURE INFRASTRUCTURE PARK
IFC will invest $510,000
for a 20 percent equity stake in India's first floriculture infrastructure park, Tanflora Infrastructure Park Limited, to be set up at a cost of $6 million in Hosur, Tamil Nadu state.
Tanflora will act as a business incubator for small floriculture companies by offering common infrastructure to all grower units and providing lower unit costs, optimal freight tariffs, and state-of-the-art technology. Spread over an area of 88 hectares, the park will dedicate 50 hectares to rose cultivation, primarily for export to Australia, Germany, Japan, the Middle East, and the Netherlands. Greenhouse plots will be leased to small growers in holdings of 1 to 4 hectares each. Infrastructure facilities will be set up on the remaining land for postharvest handling of produce and marketing. The park will build a brand name through centralized international marketing. Its success will boost the floriculture industry and generate significant employment opportunities, especially for rural women.
IFC's investment is the first in the sector and is expected to revive investor interest in other financial institutions. India's floriculture sector has not performed well in the past for a variety of reasons including inappropriate locations, costly technology and marketing tie-ups, and larger holdings. The project is a joint-sector venture between the Tamilnadu Industrial Development Corporation, a state body, and the Ahmed Brothers, private sponsors running a successful floriculture company, CCL Flowers Limited.
For more information on any of these transactions, please contact one of the following people:
Ludi Joseph, (202) 473-7700,
AFRICA & ASIA
Jannette Esguerra, (202) 458-5204,
MIDDLE EAST & LATIN AMERICA
Brigid Janssen, (202) 458-4698,
Lana Moriarty, (202) 473-6005,
GENERAL PRESS INFO
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