Meezan Bank, joins IFC Global Trade Finance Program boosting access to finance to entrepreneurs

July 4th, 2008

Washington, D.C., July, 2008: IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that Meezan Bank Limited has become the first and the largest Islamic bank in Pakistan to join the IFC Global Trade Finance Program as an issuing bank, boosting access to trade finance for entrepreneurs and businesses in Pakistan.

The IFC Global Trade Finance Program promotes trade with emerging markets worldwide by supporting flows of goods and services to and from developing countries. Through the program, IFC provides guarantee coverage of bank risk in emerging markets, allowing recipients to expand their trade finance transactions within an extensive network of countries and banks and to enhance their trade finance coverage.

Irfan Siddiqui, President and Chief Executive Officer, Meezan Bank Limited, said, “We are pleased to join the IFC Global Trade Finance Program and build a foundation for a strong relationship with IFC. The program will allow us to extend our relationships with banks worldwide and enhance our trade product offering to meet the needs of our clients, helping them increase their business in new markets around the globe.”

Michael Essex, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said, “We are delighted to welcome Meezan Bank to the IFC Global Trade Finance Program. IFC’s partnership with Meezan Bank demonstrates our commitment to expanding access to finance in Pakistan and building relationships with institutions supporting the country’s international trade flows.”

Priyamvada Singh, IFC’s trade specialist in the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, said, “Meezan Bank’s participation in the IFC Global Trade Finance Program will help expand the bank’s trade capacity with a wider network of correspondent banks, providing the flexibility to respond to the evolving global environment for Pakistan’s trade flows.”

Meezan Bank Limited is the largest Islamic Bank in Pakistan with an asset base of over US$ 1 billion and a network of over 100 branches in 33 cities. It offers a complete range of Islamic banking products and services, such as: Corporate and Investment Banking, Commercial and SME, Consumer Finance, Treasury & Financial Institutions, and Asset Management.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY2007, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries.