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The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has announced that three Nigerian banks have become the first in Africa to join its Global Trade Finance Program. The banks are Guarantee Trust Nigeria, Diamond Bank, and Investment Banking & Trust Company.

The Global Trade Finance Program supports trade with emerging markets worldwide by promoting flows of goods and services between developing countries. IFC provides guarantee coverage of bank risk in emerging markets, allowing recipients to expand their trade finance transactions within an extensive network of countries and banks and to enhance their trade finance coverage.

Richard Ranken, IFC’s director of Sub-Saharan Africa, says: “The programme aims to open trade channels and provide working capital liquidity for small and medium exporters and importers with a primary target in Africa as well as other challenging markets in Latin America and Asia.”

Jyrki Koskelo, IFC’s director of Global Financial Markets, adds: “The International Finance Corporation’s Global Trade Finance Program allows issuing banks to increase the volume and value of trade transactions with enhanced tenors and competitive pricing terms as well as access to a global network of confirming banks.”