The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), an Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB) member, has signed a US$300mn facility with Tunisia to finance the import of petroleum products.
A spokesperson for the ITFC confirms to GTR that the one-off murahaba facility, made with the Tunisian Refining Industries Company (STIR), is split into two US150mn six-month tranches to be drawn one after the other during a one-year period.
The facility falls under a framework agreement between the ITFC and the Tunisian government that aims to fund key sectors of the Tunisian economy via a pre-determined list of state-owned entities, and is accompanied by a guarantee made with the country’s economy and finance ministry.
This agreement is in line with ITFC’s mandate of contributing to the development of trade finance in our member countries.
At the signing of the agreements in a ceremony at the ITFC headquarters in Jeddah, the corporation’s acting CEO, Eng. Hani Sonbol, commented: “This agreement is in line with ITFC’s mandate of contributing to the development of trade finance in our member countries.”
The murahaba agreement, a shariah-compliant non-interest bearing loan, and the guarantee agreement, were signed by Sonbol and CEO at STIR, Mohamed Chaari, and Tunisian state secretary for development and international cooperation, Noureddine Zekri.
“This signing reflects the successful partnership with ITFC and the IDB in general,” says Zekri. “This operation is also a revival of business in Tunisia, where it helps to secure the supply of petroleum products and supporting economic growth.”
The co-operation’s spokesperson tells GTR that the ITFC has four other signed agreements with Tunisian state-owned entities: the National Company of Cellulose and Esparto Paper (SNCPA), Société Tunisienne de Sidérurgie-Elfouladh, the Tunisian National Company for Textile, and the Tunisian Phosphate & Fertilizers Company.
“We are supporting economically strategic sectors in Tunisia, like energy and food, that have a direct impact on the country’s economy,” says the spokesperson.