The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a €40 million (~$46.2 million) subordinated loan to Attijari bank Tunisia, which is a private bank and part of the Attijariwafa Bank Group. This loan will help strengthen its capital base and grow its lending operations.
IFC and Attijari bank Tunisia initiated their partnership in 2017 with an advisory project on digital services to create new products and increase access to the bank’s offerings for its clients.
IFC’s first loan to Attijari bank Tunisia will help increase its volume of long-term financing for climate-related projects and smaller businesses. The bank has been a pioneer in providing green financing to photovoltaic units, waste treatment plants, and energy efficiency projects, supporting government efforts to boost renewable energy and cut energy shortage.
With the current economic situation, increasing the lending capacities of private financial institutions will help local businesses grow and create much needed jobs, which will also support the Tunisian economy.
“With this new lending capacity and through our proximity and ability to assess customer requirements and respond to them, we will be able to extend our reach to small and medium businesses to advise them on sustainable energy financing and help them expand,” said Hicham Seffa, the CEO of Attijari bank Tunisia in a statement.
IFC is one of the world’s largest financer of climate projects in developing countries and has issued triple-A rated bonds in local currency in over 30 countries. IFC’s investment in Tunisian bank also reinforces its commitment to support the cross-border investments of financial institutions as they aim to expand in the region and boost financial inclusion.
Recently, Mercom reported that the IFC has issued its inaugural Indonesian Rupiah Komodo green bond which will be utilized to fight climate change.
The switch to renewables, especially solar is gaining momentum in Tunisia and several other African countries where access to electricity still remains a distant dream for millions. There have been several financing deals announced recently by development banks to support solar development in the Africa.
In May 2018, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Renewable Energies of the Republic of Tunisia tendered 70 MW of solar projects to be developed across the country. This announcement followed another tender floated by the country recently for the development of 500 MW of solar PV projects across the country.
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