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The World Bank’s MIGA and Kafalat Collaborate to Support Lebanese Enterprise
(Arabic )

BEIRUT, LEBANON, February 3, 2011—The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a member of the World Bank Group, and Kafalat S.A.L., a Lebanese financial company that provides guarantees for small and medium enterprises to access bank loans, announced today that they will cooperate to promote cross-border investments. In particular, they committed to working together to support investments by Lebanese enterprises into MIGA’s developing member countries.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed today at the Ministry of Trade and Economy by Kafalat’s Chairman Khater Abou Habib and MIGA’s Executive Vice President Izumi Kobayashi. Under the patronage and in presence of H.E. Minister Mohammad Safadi , the parties committed to increasing collaboration as well as raising general awareness about risk mitigation instruments such as political risk insurance through events including joint conferences, seminars, and training.

"We are committed to helping companies in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East expand their capacity to contribute to the economic growth of the region," said Kobayashi. "Already, MIGA has provided $881 million in political risk insurance coverage to investors throughout the Middle East and North Africa. This includes support for investments within the region, as well as other destinations, including sub-Saharan Africa."

Minister Safadi added: "Through this cooperation, we will be introducing an expanded menu of risk-mitigation instruments to Lebanese companies, as well as foreign companies interested in investing in Lebanon. This will allow Kafalat to further its mission of helping companies access funding from commercial banks, which will in turn lead to increased investment and employment."

MIGA provides insurance against political risks for eligible investments made by investors from a MIGA member country into a developing member country. The types of investments the agency can cover include equity, shareholder loans, non-shareholder loans, certain shareholder loan guarantees, management contracts, asset securitizations, capital market bond issues, and leasing, services, franchising and licensing agreements.  Projects supported by MIGA have a strong developmental impact through job creation, skills and technology transfer and assisting countries to tap natural resources in an environmentally sustainable way.  Specifically, they provide water, electricity, and other basic infrastructure, generate tax revenues and help strengthen financial systems.

Small and medium investors can benefit from MIGA’s Small Investment Program which offers these investors a streamlined approval process and reduced premiums.

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MULTILATERAL INVESTMENT GUARANTEE AGENCY
A Member of the World Bank Group
1818 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20433

MIGA Contact:
Mallory Saleson, MIGA
Tel: +1 202 473-0844
E-mail: msaleson@worldbank.org

Rebecca Post, MIGA
Tel: +1 202-473-1964
E-mail: rpost@worldbank.org

Cara Santos Pianesi
Tel: +1.202.458.2097
E-mail: csantospianesi@worldbank.org     

Release no. 2011/156
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