IFC setting up Asia treasury hub in Singapore

The World Bank Group signed an agreement with the Government yesterday to expand its infrastructure financing services in Singapore over the next few years.

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank Group member firm, plans to open a full-fledged Asia treasury hub, including a new trading floor by June next year to help firms raise funding in local currencies for regional projects out of Singapore.

Altogether, the World Bank, IFC and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency - the political risk guarantee arm of the World Bank - will employ more than 200 people in Singapore over the next two years, up from about 75 now.

The staff will service the group's global clients, with a focus on Asia.

The larger team will include experts on energy and resource extraction, water, transport, information and communications technology, public-private partnerships and urban development.

Mr Vivek Pathak, IFC's director of East Asia and the Pacific, said the expanded operations would allow the group to deepen its relationships with Singapore firms, which are increasingly keen to invest overseas. "Because of our large footprint overseas, we can go to them with projects and ideas and work with them as partners rather than just financiers."

Mr Jingdong Hua, vice-president and treasurer of IFC, said the Asia treasury hub in Singapore "will complement our global operations in Washington and London".

Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah, who witnessed the signing at the World Bank Group office in the Marina Bay Financial Centre, said: "Since the inception of the World Bank-Singapore Urban Hub in 2011, our common objective has been to harness synergies of the World Bank Group and Singapore-based knowledge and resources."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 28, 2015, with the headline 'IFC setting up Asia treasury hub in Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe