For the first time, a Canadian bank has made a major loan to the World Bank. The Bank of Montreal today lent the World Bank Can$50 million for development projects.
It is the first direct borrowing by the World Bank from a commercial bank in North America.
The World Bank's Treasurer, Mr. Eugene H. Rotberg, and Mr. J. Leonard Walker, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Montreal, signed the agreement.
Mr. Walker said the loan represents an important new step for the Bank of Montreal in participating directly in advancing the work being done by the World B.mk with developing nations.
Today's Bank of Montreal loan has a final maturity of eight years. It is repayable, at par, in four annual instalments starting in December 1976.
Since operations began in June 1946, the World Bank has made loan commitments totaling almost $17 billion, initially for post-war reconstruction but in recent years to speed development programs, mainly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
The World Bank today has 116 member countries and its subscribed capital is $23.9 billion, of which $2.39 billion is paid up. Another $21.5 billion is callable only if and when required to meet the World Bank's obligations.
During the past quarter century, the Bank has made loans to 90 countries in such development fields as electric power, transportation, communications, industry, tourism, agriculture and forestry.
Last October, the World Bank made a public issue of $25 million 7¼ eight-year bonds in Canada, in support of the growing Canadian interest in the development agency's activities.
The October issue was the World Bank's eighth offering of its bonds in Canada. The last issue was offered in January 1968.
Canada's capital subscription to the World Bank is $792 million.