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WB's IFC to Provide US$15 Mln for SMEs in China Quake Zone

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The World Bank's International Finance Corp. (IFC) would provide US$15 million in credit guarantees for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in southwest China's Sichuan Province, the IFC announced on Wednesday.

The funds would go to the Chengdu Small Enterprise Credit Guarantee Co. (Chengdu CGC), its partner in the project.

With the IFC injection, Chengdu CGC would be able to extend up to 5.4 billion yuan (US$790.6 million) in new loans in the next eight years to SMEs in areas hit by the May 12 earthquake last year.

"As an effort to support reconstruction in the quake zone, we hope the project will help improve local people's livelihoods," said Michael Ipson, chief representative of the IFC in China and Mongolia.

Founded in 1956, the IFC invests in the private sector in developing countries. Its investment totaled US$16.2 billion in 2008, up 34 percent from a year earlier.

(Xinhua News Agency April 23, 2009)