MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC Buys $9m in Local-currency Bonds from CRRH-UEMOA to Support Housing Finance in West Africa

The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation has purchased the equivalent of USD 9 million in bonds issued by the mortgage refinancier Caisse Regionale de Refinancement Hypothecaire de l’UEMOA (Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine). The goal of the investment is to catalyze USD 500 million in housing investment over four years in UEMOA, which comprises Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. The bonds are denominated in local currency and mature in 12 years.

The World Bank’s Vice President for Development Finance, Axel van Trotsenburg, said that the investment is part of a larger strategy to “help de-risk private sector investments…to stimulate private sector activities in more challenging environments and create new markets in Africa.”

Caisse Regionale de Refinancement Hypothecaire has facilitated 8,000 mortgages since it was founded in 2012 by the Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, the Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement and Conseil Regional de l’Epargne Publique et des Marches Financiers.

IFC offers loans, equity investments, advisory services and technical assistance to private companies with the intent of alleviating poverty and promoting open and competitive markets in developing countries. IFC has 184 member countries and total assets of USD 95 billion as of September 2017.

The World Bank Group is a multilateral organization whose goal is “to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity in a sustainable way.” As of 2018, it has 189 member nations. The group encompasses (1) the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association, which make up the World Bank; (2) the International Finance Corporation (IFC); (3) the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency; and (4) the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. During 2017, the World Bank Group disbursed funds totaling USD 44 billion.

Sources and additional resources

IFC press release

IFC financials

Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine

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