IDB prioritizes infrastructure investments

Total finances offered by the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group for trade and development projects grew by 18.4 percent from $8.3 billion in 2011 to $9.8 billion in 2012, according to the bank’s annual report for 2012.

“Infrastructure is a priority area for the bank’s investments in member countries,” said IDB President Ahmed Mohamed Ali.

“We have given $2.6 billion last year for electricity, water, housing and infrastructure projects,” he said.

The bank’s net income rose by 4.8 percent last year.

IDB continues to maintain the highest credit ratings of “AAA” from Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch Ratings, the president said.

“This reflects the strong support it received from member countries and its financial soundness,” he added.

The annual report said 68.3 percent of the bank’s concessional financing went for sub-Saharan African countries while the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region received the bulk of ordinary financing during the reporting year.

“Last year we co-financed 31 operations in 20 countries with other institutions with the total cost of these projects reaching $5.7 billion and IDB’s contribution amounting to $1.3 billion or 23 percent,” the president said.

IDB’s financial assistance to least developed member countries rose from $2.8 billion in 2011 to $3.1 billion in 2012, Ali said.

The bank gave $750.9 million for social development projects last year, including $281.5 million for education and $469.4 million for health.

“The driving force behind IDB interventions in the social sectors is the conviction that an educated, trained and healthy population can play an important role in improving the quality of life, reducing poverty and attaining sustainable economic growth,” he said.

Referring to the bank’s efforts to achieve food security in member countries, the president said IDB allocated $732.4 million in 2012 for agricultural and food projects.

It also earmarked $250 million for creating jobs for youth in Arab countries.

Ali highlighted IDB’s leading role in developing the Islamic finance sector by supporting related institutions, providing technical assistance, improving access to Islamic finance for the poor and participating in equity investments.

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of Private Sector (ICD), an affiliate of the group, approved $167 million worth of projects in 2012.

(ARAB NEWS)


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