Bell Finance joins IBBC

Bell Finance LLC joins IBBC as a new member and brings investment to the private sector in Iraq

Bell Finance LLC has joined the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) to continue the work of the Iraq Middle Market Development Foundation's lending and educational activities in Iraq since 2005 (www.immdf.org).

Funded by the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (www.dfc.org), formerly OPIC, IMMDF disbursed 3 to 5-year loans to 53 private sector agricultural, manufacturing and industrial companies, in a total amount near US$ 80 million and at an average loan of US$ 1,5 million, to finance projects that generated employment and economic growth in Iraq.

Bell plans to continue IMMDF's lending activities by co-financing with Iraqi banks qualifying projects that generate employment and economic growth in Iraq. In addition, Bell plans to continue and to expand IMMDF's educational activities in Iraq.

Bell is governed by a Board of Directors whose Members, coming from different and complementary backgrounds, contribute substantial commercial lending experience. They are Chris Sale (Chair), Naser Darwish, Dennis Flannery, Robert Drumheller and Abhishek Bhasin.

It is managed by a team whose members, with substantial private sector financing experience, have been working at IMMDF for over 10 years. They include Jorge R. Vila (General Manager), Mazen Abou-Shaban (Finance Manager), and Michael Telford (Senior Financial Consultant).

At the present time, Global Communities (www.globalcommunities.org) owns 100% of Bell, although Bell's Business Plan envisions that other private sector equity investors will join Global Communities as owners of Bell.

Bell was named after Gertrude Bell, CBE, al-Khatun (14 July 1886 - 12 July 1926), an English writer, traveller, political officer, administrator and archaeologist who, due to her background, political career and extensive travels in Iraq and the surrounding region, made a major contribution to establishing and helping administer the modern state of Iraq.

Mr Vila said:

"After cooperating with IBBC in Iraq for over 10 years, we are delighted to join it as formal members. We look forward to learning from other member's experience in Iraq as well as to discuss ways of working together, and, in due course, qualifying projects of UK companies that Bell could co-finance."

Christophe Michels, IBBC Managing Director, said:

"We are delighted to be accepting new members like Bell, at a time when Iraq most needs investment and professional investors to build upon and strengthen its private sector. IBBC is keen to facilitate investment into the private sector and Bell can be a leading force for this initiative. They come highly recommended and we hope Iraqi businesses will embrace the opportunity to contact them."

(Source: IBBC)

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