Abidjan- Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) -- Ivorian growers' co-operatives and the International Cocoa Organisation last Friday established a Professional Agricultural Bank (BPA), official sources in Abidjan said Monday.
The sources said that 15 percent of BPA's share capital estimated at 1 billion FCFA (1.
3 million dollars) belongs to the State, while 25 percent are owned by local co-operatives.
Private Ivorian entities own 40 percent of the shares while the remaining 20 percent have gone to foreign private investors.
BPA founders said that the new bank, which has already been approved by the Central Bank of West African States, would start operations in four months.
"It's a private merchant bank whose clients will be co-operatives and agro-industrial companies," ICCO executive director, Kouame Edouard, told PANA in Abidjan.
Ivorian agriculture and animal resources minister, Dr Douaty Alphonse welcomed the new bank because agriculture employs two-thirds of the Ivorian population and accounts for 66 percent of the country's resources.
The BPA will be the second attempt to create a bank To cater for the agricultural sector bank in Cote d'Ivoire after the collapse of National Bank for Agricultural Development, which went bankrupt in 1991 following a deficit of 15 billion FCFA (19.
7 million dollars).
Ivorian businessmen are a bit wary about the viability of the new bank because of the bitter experience of the BNDA and two other banking projects that were nipped in the bud.