ABIDJAN Dec 4 Ivory Coast is to borrow up to
$300 million from the World Bank's International Finance
Corporation (IFC) and Societe Generale (SocGen) to
help finance crude oil imports over the next two years for its
The IFC and SocGen will each lend the Societe Ivoirienne de
Raffinage (SIR) up to $100 million, the lenders said in separate
statements. Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas
will also take part in the structured trade facility,
to help fund about $2 billion of oil imports.
Ivory Coast is emerging from a decade of political turmoil
that saw growth and industry stagnate. GDP growth was 9.8
percent last year after a contraction of 4.7 percent in 2011,
when a brief civil war ended the crisis.
The IFC said in a statement the loan facility may help
mitigate price spikes that drive up costs for both businesses
and households, and also help SIR to regain direct access to the
international financial markets.
The 65,000 barrel per day SIR refinery in Ivory Coast's
commercial capital Abidjan provides the country with nearly all
of its refined petroleum products as well as supplying regional
landlocked neighbours including Mali and Burkina Faso.
Oil purchases for the refinery cost more than $200 million a
month, and Ivory Coast - the world's No. 1 cocoa producer and
French-speaking West Africa's largest economy - has a supply
contract with Africa's top oil exporter Nigeria.