Prime Bank Joins IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program
IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, announced today that it will issue guarantees against Prime Bank’s underlying trade transactions, covering payment risk and helping increase Kenya’s share of the global trade finance market.
The facility is part of IFC’s $1 billion Global Trade Finance Program, which was launched in 2005 to support trade with the emerging markets worldwide and promote flows of goods and services between developing countries. IFC provides guarantee coverage of bank risk in emerging markets, allowing recipients to expand their trade finance transactions within an extensive network of countries and banks and to enhance their trade finance coverage.
“This facility will increase our capacity to take up trade finance transactions and raise finance related to international trade transactions at a very competitive price,” said Vasant Shetty, Prime Bank’s Chief Executive. “The program will enable us to access a global correspondent banking network and work with banks in markets where we do not have correspondent banking relationships. This is good news for our existing and potential customers, as it enhances the current trade finance facilities extended to Prime Bank from various international banks.”
Prime Bank Limited was incorporated in 1992 and has nine branches in Kenya. The bank has shown consistent growth over the years and had an asset portfolio of 5.2 billion Kenyan shillings at the end of fiscal 2006. The bank recorded a net profit of 138 million shillings and had total deposits of 8.363 billion shillings that same year.
“The Global Trade Finance Program has been very successful in Africa, providing over US$242 million worth of guarantees to facilitate trade to the continent in the period from July 2006 to April 2007 alone,” said Thierry Tanoh, IFC’s Director for Sub-Saharan Africa.
Jyrki Koskelo, IFC’s Director for Financial Markets added, “Through this project we hope to assist Prime Bank in their efforts to offer their trade finance services to a broader client base.”
IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries. IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06, IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion in funding for private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure, to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance, and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information, please visit www.ifc.org.
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