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Azeris, Dutch, Koreans, Saudis Invest in the IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund

According to the IFC Press Release, “Investors from Azerbaijan, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea have joined IFC in committing to a fund to make equity investments in companies in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, providing a new way to finance growth and jobs in the developing world.

IFC has committed up to $200 million as a limited partner in the IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund, L.P. Other anchor investors in the fund, with total commitments of up to $600 million, are PGGM, the Dutch pension fund manager; Korea Investment Corporation; State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan; and a fund investor from Saudi Arabia.

The fund provides an opportunity for sovereign and pension fund investors to co-invest for the first time with IFC in growth equity investments in developing countries. The fund is part of IFC’s broader strategy to increase its commitment to Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean and to mobilize third-party capital where it is needed most.

“Pension and sovereign funds represent a significant savings pool that is seeking commercial returns and portfolio diversification,’’ said World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick, who in 2008 called for sovereign wealth funds to invest in equity in sub-Saharan Africa as a way of tapping long-term global savings to boost investment opportunities and development. “`With this fund, we will demonstrate that developing countries have high-quality investment opportunities to attract commercial investors. The private sector will be crucial to a sustained recovery from the global economic crisis and for future growth.”

Lars Thunell, IFC CEO and Executive Vice President, added, “This fund is part of IFC’s strategy to address the increasing number of investment opportunities in frontier markets. With the launch of this fund we are providing equity co-investment opportunities to sovereign and pension fund investors for the first time. We are proud to work with these institutions, which share our vision of sustainable investment opportunities in these markets.”

Fons Lute, the Managing Director Alternative Strategies at PGGM, said: “We are very pleased about this new partnership with IFC, which will give us greater access to frontier markets where we see a lot of potential for growth over the long term,”

The fund will be managed by IFC Asset Management Company, LLC (“AMC”), a wholly owned subsidiary of IFC. This is AMC’s second fund under management, joining the $3 billion IFC Capitalization Fund, which invests in systemically important banks in emerging markets.

Private sector development remains the most effective way for developing nations to grow, create jobs and provide people with the opportunity to escape poverty. The establishment of the IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund comes as net private capital flows to emerging markets have declined significantly since their peak in 2007. From the perspective of investors, investments in emerging markets, especially frontier markets, represent an asset class that can bring diversification and long-term capital-growth opportunities.

IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Through its investments — including in this first-of-its-kind IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund — IFC creates opportunities for the poor in developing countries.”

read more: IFC Press Release

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