Veils of secrecy: evaluating the IFC’s role in enhancing tax and ownership transparency in development projects

Source: Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights


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1. Introduction

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest development institution in the world that focuses exclusively on private-sector operations in developing countries. The IFC finances its operations through issuing bonds in international capital markets. IFC prides itself on its consistent AAA rating from the credit-rating agencies Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s, which gives it privileged access to capital markets that might not be available to its clients. Despite being a development agency, the IFC’s reliance on capital markets means it has the same profit incentive as any private sector operation, with the potential for tension arising between its developmental and profit-making goals.

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