AfDB Approves CFAF 750 Million Equity Investment in Banque Congolaise de l’Habitat

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Tunis, June 2, 2009 – The Board of Directors of the African Development (AfDB) Bank Group has approved financing for a CFAF 750-million investment in the Equity of the Banque Congolaise de l’Habitat.

The project will support the establishment of a universal banking institution specializing in ‘Real Estate & Housing’ in Congo, the “Banque Congolaise de l’Habitat” (BCH), with an equity capital of CFAF 5 billion (approximately EUR 7.6 million). The AfDB investment comprises a BCH capital subscription of CFAF 750 million, which represents 15% of the equity capital, as well as a subsidy of EUR 190, 000 for Technical Assistance to support the adoption of BCH’s environmental and social policy, on one hand, and Risk management systems, on the other.

BCH’s key mission is to provide, among other activities, financial services to the real estate sector so as to promote the construction of 3,750 collective and single housing units over a period of 5 years. This project will play a key role in the implementation of the government’s development policy for the sensitive real estate and housing sector. BCH’s establishment and its effective development will help to ensure that long-term resources to be obtained by BCH (savings-housing plan deposits, National Housing Fund) more adequately meet long-term commitments (social, low-cost and prestige housing credit with a 20 to 25-year tenor, currently nin-existent in Congo). BCH will contribute to the creation of 11,250 indirect jobs during its first five years.

This Investment is in keeping with the Bank’s Private Sector Operations strategy as regards: (i) strengthening and deepening of financial systems, and (ii) Bank support to private enterprises (particularly, SMEs, including the construction sector) through financial intermediaries. The project represents an innovative instrument for deepening the Congolese financial system by targeting a specific market niche that is currently underserved.

BCH is an example of public-private partnership and intra-African partnership. BCH is a universal bank project that will allow for the sustainable transformation of real estate, housing and social housing sector in Congo. It will generate 162 permanent direct jobs and 11,250 indirect and seasonal jobs, thus reducing poverty in economically disadvantaged urban areas. It will contribute to the development of the private sector and SMEs, and modernize the financial sector by introducing innovative financial instruments and mechanisms.

The BCH Project is supported by the Congolese Government and is consistent with “Habitat Congo”, the new housing development strategy launched in August 2007. The project will be the first private sector project financed by the AfDB.

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