BankMuscat signs agreement with International Finance Corporation Washington
BankMuscat SAOG, the nation’s leading bank, recently signed an agreement with International Finance Corporation, Washington (IFC- W) under its Global Trade Finance (GTF) Program. The agreement would enable BankMuscat’s customers to obtain confirmation / guarantees on Letters of Credit received by them for their exports to various emerging market countries such as Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Kenya, Lebanon, Malta, Mauritania, Nigeria, Mozambique, Russia, Pakistan, Uganda and others. This facility would support efforts to export to countries with riskier credit profiles, for which confirmation/guarantees are not available from traditional banking/export guarantee channels.
Speaking on the occasion, AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, BankMuscat said: “We are glad to join hands once again with the International Finance Corporation of another part of our business. BankMuscat has always striven to explore ways to provide greater value to our customer base across our spread of banking facilities. This agreement, we believe, will help lend momentum to our clients trade activities in several emerging market economies.”
IFC launched its US $500 million GTF program in 2005 with an aim to increase developing countries’ share of global trade and promote South-South flows of goods and services. The GTF program targets issuing banks in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Middle East and provides guarantees and pre-export cash advances to banks in over 70 countries. The GTF program achieved $200 million in guarantees issued in the first eight months of its operation.
Talking about the success of the GTF program, Bonnie L. Galat, Head – Sales & Marketing, Global Trade Finance Program, IFC said: "IFC is very pleased to have BankMuscat as a Confirming Bank in the Global Trade Finance Program. It is the first bank to join the Program from Oman and enhances our network of banks in the region. We look forward to supporting BankMuscat in its trade activity with emerging markets. The program should enhance BankMuscat's flexibility to service its export clients as they expand their businesses to new or challenging developing countries."
BankMuscat joins the list of nearly 100 banks across the world to join the program as a confirming bank. It becomes the first Omani bank to join IFC’s GTF program and amongst a select few banks across the GCC and MENA region.
During 2007, IFC’s GTF program is expected to target countries such as Angola, Rwanda, Senegal, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Belarus, Paraguay, Venezuela, El Salvador, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Indonesia.
© 2007 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)