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CDC for sale next century

May 1999

Partial privatisation of the Commonwealth Development Corporation is at least two years away, according to officials.

The CDC was set up as a statutory corporation in 1948 to invest in developing countries, and has become one of the world’s leading providers of development finance.

John Marjoribanks, director of public affairs at the CDC, said a bill allowing conversion of the corporation into a public-private partnership may now receive Royal Assent by the middle of this year, and the CDC could be registered as a public limited company before the end of 1999. But market conditions would then dictate the date for a share issue.

The Department for International Development, which oversees the CDC, is likely to market the partial privatisation as a chance for institutions and the public to buy ethical stock.

Around 80 per cent of its portfolio is invested in countries with GNP per capita of less than $1,600. The CDC says the semi-privatisation will allow it to increase investment in the world’s poorest countries ‘with an entrenched ethical investment code’.




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