Across the world, the challenges of development are vast—and growing.
So are the needs of entrepreneurs, investors, and businesses in developing countries, which struggle to overcome constraints in finance, infrastructure, employee skills, and the regulatory environment.
For IFC, this represents a tremendous opportunity: to engage the creativity and resources of the business community to change the world for the better. By helping companies overcome obstacles to sustainable growth, we help them create opportunity and improve lives. We enlist them as partners in the global effort to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.
We believe strongly in the power of partnerships to make a transformational difference. As the world’s largest global development institution focused on the private sector, we worked this year with nearly 2,000 private sector clients and a wide array of governments, donors, and other stakeholders. The result was another record year for IFC — we invested and mobilized more money for private sector development than ever before, helping sustain development in more than 100 countries.
Our new investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion in FY13, including funds mobilized from other investors, providing capital to more than 600 projects and companies across the world. We invested $18.3 billion for our own account and mobilized $6.5 billion from other investors. In a time of declining official aid flows to developing countries, these investments had an impact in every region of the world.
We now have an investment portfolio of nearly $50 billion in nearly 2,000 companies in 126 countries. This diversification has contributed to our strong risk-adjusted returns—and to our development impact.
At the end of 2012, our investments provided jobs for 2.7 million people in developing countries. With our support, our clients treated 17.2 million patients, educated 1 million students, and improved opportunities for 3.1 million farmers. They generated power for 52.2 million customers, and distributed water to 42 million.
We focused strongly on promoting prosperity in the world’s poorest and most fragile regions.
In FY13, nearly half of our projects—totaling more than $6 billion—were in the poorest countries served by the World Bank’s International Development Association, most of them in Sub-Saharan Africa. About two-thirds of our advisory program expenditures were in IDA countries. Our investments in fragile and conflict-affected regions climbed to nearly $600 million.
Our Advisory Services achieved significant results for our clients—businesses and governments alike. Development-effectiveness ratings for Advisory Services reached a record of 75 percent while client-satisfaction ratings climbed to an all-time high of 90 percent. The advice we provide is a crucial element of the value we bring to our clients, and in FY13 we achieved notable progress in providing client solutions that integrate investment and advice—we had active advisory projects with 250 investment clients.
In FY13, our advice helped mobilize almost $1 billion in private investment through public-private partnerships, which are expected to improve infrastructure and health services for millions of people. In addition, we helped more than 40,000 small and medium enterprises obtain $4.5 billion in financing secured with movable property, through our work with collateral registries. We also provided training and capacity-building to about 350,000 people—including farmers, entrepreneurs, and managers of small and medium enterprises.
In addition, IFC Asset Management Company continued to grow, increasing its assets under management to $5.5 billion across six investment funds, with a strong mix of reputable investors. It has launched two new funds—including the IFC Catalyst Fund, which focuses on climate-smart investments, and the Global Infrastructure Fund, which will invest scarce equity risk capital in the critically important infrastructure sector.
I am confident IFC can achieve even greater impact going forward. This year was my first as IFC’s CEO, and I traveled to nearly three dozen countries—in every region of the world—to meet with our clients and staff. I saw first-hand what we can achieve by being ambitious, unafraid of risk, client-focused, and open to new ideas. We can tackle the big problems that have long hindered development—such as access to finance, energy and climate change, and food security.
IFC is a unique organization, one that has managed to combine a businesslike commercial approach with a passionate, focused commitment to achieving meaningful and measurable development impact. Strong, profitable growth builds resources for greater development impact in the future.
Developing countries need transformative solutions. Working with our partners, IFC is well positioned to provide them.
IFC Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer