IFC Plans to Invest About $400 Million in Kenya This Year

The International Finance Corp., the World Bank’s private lending arm, said investments in Kenya will surge to $400 million this fiscal year, mainly to help private companies boost power supplies and build infrastructure.

Investments have risen from about $60 million two years ago, Thierry Tanoh, vice-president for sub-Saharan Africa at the IFC, said today at a media briefing in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

The investments include a $100 million loan to Equity Bank Ltd., Kenya’s largest lender by market value, for lending to small- and mid-sized businesses and agricultural producers, according to a press release distributed to reporters. Gulf Energy Ltd. and Thika Power Ltd. received $59 million, while Kenya Power Ltd., the country’s sole electricity distributor, is negotiating a $50 million loan to expand its power network.

Commitments to East Africa’s largest economy over the next 2012-13 fiscal year will remain about the same, said Jean Philippe Prosper, the IFC’s director for eastern and southern Africa.

“I don’t see us doing less than $300 million or $400 million” in the financial year beginning July 1, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah McGregor in Nairobi at smcgregor5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.

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