Feasibility study for the proposed G-77 bank completed

NAIROBI, Feb— A feasibility study for the proposed G-77 Trade and Development Bank, which will be based in Kenya, has been completed, a top G-77 official here said.

William Anyenda, who is the East African representative of the G-77 Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says the study was carried out by the state-owned Kenya Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) at a cost of 15.6 million shillings (One US dollar equals 60 Kenya shillings).

The study, which took about 20 months to compile, has already been submitted to the G-77 Chamber of Commerce and Industry secretariat in Lahore, Pakistan.

‘’The proposal is now in the safe hands of the G-77 Chamber of Commerce and Industry (G-77CCI) President, Mr Tariq Sayeed,’’ says Anyenda.

He says the feasibility study will be scrutinised by a G-77CCI Monitoring Committee before it is tabled for approval at a forthcoming G-77 bi-annual General Meeting scheduled to take place in Kampala, Uganda, in April 1998.

‘’We will all be there to defend the document which has been acclaimed by World Bank officials,’’ he says. ‘’It is a loophole-free masterpiece document that will easily pass the test.’’

Anyenda says he is optimistic that the bank will open in Kenya soon. ‘’After almost 25 years of toying with the idea of the bank, it’s like a dream come true,’’ he says.
The Kampala parley will also discuss the establishment of a re- insurance company to offer services to member countries, says Anyienda.

The idea of the G-77 bank was first mooted in November 1994, but it was during the 1996 G-77 Chamber of Commerce and Industry conference in Lahore that Kenya decided to host the headquarters of the bank in Nairobi.

The bank will require at least 3.4 million dollars from each member country -- there are currently 132 -- to meet its one- billion-dollar paid-up capital.

The bank is intended to provide the G-77 business community with a new source of finance. ‘’Once the bank is set up in Kenya, it will foster fast development in the region and in the other G- 77 member countries,’’ says Sid Ali Ketrandji, the Algerian ambassador to Kenya who is the current chairman of the G-77 Nairobi Chapter. He says the implementation of the bank will, however, depend on the member governments’ support.

Ketrandji says the bank will address the pressing issues of financial support to developing countries. ‘’The bank will substantially increase the availability of export credit to G-77 countries at a lower cost,’’ he says.

‘’Once the feasibility study is endorsed and passed, without wasting much time, we’ll advertise the bank’s shares which will fall into four categories,’’ says Anyenda.
The first category of shares will go to G-77 Chamber of Commerce and Industry member countries. The others will go to sovereign states, international institutions and to the private investors.

‘’Due to the sovereign and quasi-sovereign share-holding of the bank, it will be necessary for the bank to be granted privileges comparable to those enjoyed by other international organisations,’’ says Anyenda.

For a bank to be granted privileged status, it must be established under an act of parliament or presidential decree of the host country. Anyenda sees no problem with this since it is the same government that sponsored the study. ‘’The money the government gave us for the study will automatically be converted into shares,’’ says Anyenda.