IFC invests $3.4 B in East Asia, Pacific
Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) - October 8, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The International Finance Corp. (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has committed to invest $3.4 billion in businesses in East Asia and the Pacific within the year.

The organization announced over the weekend that it has allocated $2 billion in financing from its own account and crowded $1.4 billion from other investors this year.

IFC said the investment would leverage the strength of the “thriving private sector in the region” at a time when rapid urbanization and increasing business demand in the region are giving rise to massive infrastructure needs and means of adapting to natural disasters.

“In the face of countries’ limited public resources, IFC has been actively looking for solutions to crowd in all possible sources of finance, innovation, and expertise to help meet their challenges,” said Vivek Pathak, IFC’s Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific.

“IFC is unlocking opportunities in emerging markets and creating jobs with the aim of achieving sustainability through lower costs and efficient service delivery in key sectors such as finance, infrastructure, healthcare, and education.”

IFC has so far been making investments in capital markets, water  and climate-related projects in the region.

Through its investment, Fiji became the first emerging market to issue a sovereign green bond, raising $50 million to help the country adapt to a changing climate.

IFC was also the sole investor in BDO Unibank’s $150 million green bond issuance, the first to be issued by a commercial bank in the Philippines. The same investments were made in Thailand and Indonesia.

In the Philippines, IFC also issued a peso-denominated green bond equivalent to $90 million to support capital markers and climate-smart investments.

In Vietnam, where only about 35 percent of the population is connected to piped water, IFC lent $15.3 million to a privately-owned water firm to increase availability of clean water for urban households and residents in provincial cities.

IFC has also been boosting its support for small and medium enterprises in the region through loan packages to enable these businesses to expand and become more profitable, creating more jobs in the process.

For fiscal year 2019, IFC said it would continue maximizing the use of private finance to address developmental challenges particularly in the power, tourism, and agriculture sectors.

IFC is a sister organization of the World Bank and is the largest global development institution focused on investing in the private sector in emerging markets.

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