OFID works with partners to support Lebanon and Gulf Bank and boost SMEs in Lebanon

25.01.2018 | E02/2018




From left: Khalid Khadduri, Private Sector Operations Officer, OFID; Violet Onyemenam, General Counsel, OFID; Khaled Abdel Samad, Chief Risk Officer, LGB Bank; Samer Itani, Vice Chairman and CEO, LGB Bank; Ibrahim Assaf, Ambassador of Lebanon to Austria; OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish DG; Huib-Jan de Ruitjer; Director Financial Institutions, FMO; Sabine Gaber, Member of the Executive Board, OeEB; Clemens Stadler; Managing Director Investment Finance, OeEB; Tareq Alnassar, Acting Assistant Director-General, Private Sector and Trade Finance Operations Dept, OFID; Omar Dajani, Senior Counsel, OFID.

Vienna, Austria, January 25, 2018. The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has partnered with two development banks – the Dutch development bank FMO and the Austria-based Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG (OeEB) – to sign a US$67.5 million loan to Lebanon and Gulf Bank (LGB BANK). The transaction was established by the efforts of OFID and Alpen Capital, the latter of which acted as the sole financial advisor. FMO acted as the mandated lead arranger and facility agent.

The loan, which has a tenor of five years, is LGB BANK’s first from development finance institutions. The facility increases the availability of funding for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Lebanon. SMEs serve as the economic backbone of many developing countries – generating employment and improving living standards. But the sector is often undervalued and under-supported. By stimulating investment in the SME sector, the lenders aim to contribute to job creation and boost economic and private sector development.

OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish said: “OFID works hard to develop and maintain partnerships to optimize the impact of its contribution to international development. We are proud to have played such an instrumental role in an important transaction that will stimulate Lebanon’s private sector and help support SMEs.”

The CEO of FMO Jürgen Rigterink said: “This marks the first debt transaction in Lebanon after several years. It fits perfectly in our new strategy to expand in the financial sector in the MENA region, supporting SMEs and thereby stimulating job creation in the country.”

LGB BANK’s CEO Samer A H Itani commented: “We are proud of the excellent collaboration between FMO, OFID, OeEB and LGB BANK as it proves our Bank’s willingness to enhance key drivers of the Lebanese economy. This syndicated facility will furthermore strengthen LGB BANK’s position as a leading lender of major SMEs across the country, and also demonstrates our determination in nurturing business relationships with our international partners. Moreover, this transaction will assist the Bank in enhancing its corporate social responsibility and strengthening its efforts to support its community."

Sabine Gaber and Michael Wancata, members of the Executive Board of OeEB, said: “Creating jobs, which ensure a stable income, is the key for sustainable development and especially important for the MENA region. This transaction will create new perspectives for entrepreneurs in Lebanon.”

About OFID OFID is the development finance institution established by the Member States of OPEC in 1976 as a channel of aid to developing countries. OFID works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international donor community to stimulate economic growth and alleviate poverty in all disadvantaged regions of the world. It does this by providing financing to build essential infrastructure, strengthen social services delivery and promote productivity, competitiveness and trade. OFID’s work is people-centered, focusing on projects that meet basic needs—such as food, energy, clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. OFID aims to encourage self-reliance and inspire hope for the future.

About LGB Bank Established in 1963 under the name of Banque de Credit Agricole s.a.l., LGB BANK adopted its current name and shareholders’ form in 1980. LGB BANK is a well-established bank with a strong legacy, solid financials and potential for growth. During 2016, LGB BANK outperformed the Lebanese banking sector ranking second in terms of deposits growth, 3rd in terms of assets and 6th in terms of net profit. This growth in financial records is reflected in the Bank’s expansion strategy, while maintaining a conservative risk approach, which resulted in a network of branches across Lebanon, a branch in Cyprus and a representative office in Dubai.

About FMO FMO is the Dutch development bank. FMO has invested in the private sector in developing countries and emerging markets for more than 45 years. FMO’s mission is to empower entrepreneurs to build a better world. The bank invests in sectors where it is believed its contribution can have the highest long-term impact: financial institutions, energy and agribusiness. With an investment portfolio of €92 billion spanning over 85 countries, FMO is one of the larger bilateral private sector development banks globally.

About OeEB OeEB has been operating as the Development Bank of Austria since March 2008. It specializes in the provision of long-term finance for the implementation of private sector projects in developing countries that create sustainable development. Additionally, OeEB provides technical assistance, which can be used to enhance the developmental impact of projects. For more information, please visit www.oe-eb.at.

About Alpen Capital (ME) Ltd Alpen Capital (ME) Limited is incorporated as a limited liability company in the Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and is licensed by the Dubai Financial Services Authority. With local know-how and regional expertise, Alpen Capital offers a full range of investment banking advisory services in the areas of M&A, Debt, Equity and Capital markets. Apart from Dubai, it has offices in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Muscat, Mumbai and New Delhi. Please visit us at www.alpencapital.com




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