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Fransabank Joins IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program


Washington, D.C., December 23, 2005—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, announced today that Fransabank SAL of Lebanon has joined its Global Trade Finance Program. Fransabank SAL is one of the leading Lebanese banks.

The Global Trade Finance Program supports trade with emerging markets worldwide and promotes the flow 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.

Michael Essex, IFC’s Acting Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said, “The increasing number of participant banks in the Global Trade Finance Program paves the way for countries like Lebanon to increase their share of global trade through this wide network of correspondent banks.”

IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program offers confirming banks partial or full guarantees against underlying trade instruments and covers the payment risk of participating issuing banks. The program allows issuing banks to increase the volume and value of trade transactions with enhanced tenors and access to competitive pricing.

Adnan Kassar, Fransabank’s Chairman and CEO, said, “Participating in IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program will support our expanding trade finance business.”

The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent. Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. For more information, visit

Established in 1921, Fransabank is the fifth-largest bank in Lebanon in terms of assets ($4.65 billion as of December 2004) with 6.53 percent market share. It also ranks first by return on assets and second by capital adequacy ratio, cost to income, and return on shareholders’ equity. As at year end 2004, Fransabank SAL had total shareholders’ equity (excluding net profits for the year) of US$ 291.36 million and Pre-tax profit of US$ 49.51 million. For more information, visit


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