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Ahli United Becomes First Bank in Egypt to Join IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program


IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced recently that Ahli United Bank in Egypt has become the first bank in the country to join its Global Trade Finance Program as an issuing bank.

The Global Trade Finance Program promotes trade with emerging markets worldwide by supporting flows of goods and services to and from developing countries. Through the program, 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.

“Ahli United Bank is pleased to be a part of the Global Trade Finance Program. Our association with the program will allow us to provide greater services to our corporate clients and support Egypt’s growing export industry,” said Adel A. El-Labban, Group CEO and Managing Director, Ahli United Bank.

“Through this program, we will help enhance trade finance capacity in local banks. In most markets, this has greatest net effect on small and medium enterprises, which are the most reliant on the support of local banks. Foreign banks typically focus on larger transactions and top-tier commercial entities. Our program guarantees amounts as low as $10,000 to ensure the SME sector is well supported,” said Michael Essex, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

More markets in the Middle East and North Africa are benefiting from this program. For example, Saba Islamic Bank in Yemen, which joined the program in 2007, helped a Yemeni food industry access a trade line to import equipment necessary for producing baby food. This operation was the first of its kind in the country.

About IFCIFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through loan participations and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries.

About Ahli United Bank
Ahli United Bank B.S.C. is an offshore and full commercial banking institution based in Bahrain. It provides retail, commercial, and investment banking business, as well as global fund management and private banking services. By developing a larger client base in the Gulf states and through its close partnerships with customers, staff, and product providers, the bank is growing. The evolution of future mergers and acquisitions in the Gulf region remains central to its expansion strategy. AUB reported a consolidated net profit of $ 225.9 million for the nine month period ended 30 September 2007. This was a 37.5 percent increase compared to the same period last year. As of September 30, 2007, the bank’s total assets were $ 21.9 billion.

In 2007, AUB was named the Best Bank in the Middle East by Euromoney and Global Finance and Bank of the Year – Bahrain by The Banker. In 2006, the bank was awarded the Global Bank of the Year – Middle East by The Banker; Best Bank – Middle East and Africa by Global Finance; Best Foreign Exchange Bank – Middle East by Global Finance; and Best Bank and Bank of the Year – Bahrain by Global Finance, Euromoney, and The Banker.


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