Inside the Portfolio of the International Finance Corporation: Does IFC Do Enough in Low-Income Countries? with Jared Kalow Vijaya Ramachandran is a CGD Policy Paper. Between 2001 and 2016, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) committed $127 billion through 3,343 projects across the developing world. During this period, the bulk of IFC’s portfolio has moved lower middle-income countries to upper middle-income countries. Between 2001 and 2004, IFC’s portfolio was dominated by lower-middle income countries. Between 2013 and 2016, Turkey, China, and Brazil received $3.8, $2.9, and $3.0 billion in investments respectively, making them some of the largest recipients of IFC investment. The portfolio shift from lower-middle to upper-middle income countries is in significant part due to recipient countries graduating out of lower-middle income status. Our analysis shows that IFC’s portfolio is not focused where it could make the most difference. Low income countries are where IFC has the scale to make a considerable difference to development outcomes. These are the countries with the greatest need for investment and (implicit) guarantee mechanisms for private investment. And these are the countries receiving the bulk of advisory services support. While an excessive portfolio shift might imperil IFC’s credit rating, the evidence suggests that there is considerable scope for increasing commitments to low income countries without significant impact to IFC’s credit scores.
Comparing Five Bilateral Development Finance Institutions and the IFC with Jared Kalow Ben Leo Vijaya Ramachandran is another policy paper. Development Finance Institutions (DFIs)—which provide financing to private investors in developing economies—have seen rapid expansion over the past few years. A recent estimate is that annual commitments from DFIs as a whole grew from $10 to $70 billion between 2002-2014. Many DFIs have ambitions to play an even greater role going forward, continuing expansion and working more in fragile states. DFIs remain a comparatively under-studied set of development institutions in terms of their activities and impacts. Much of the information about DFIs is presented in forms that make aggregation and comparison difficult and time-consuming. This paper describes and analyses a new dataset covering the five largest bilateral DFIs alongside the IFC which includes project amounts, standardized sectors, instruments, and countries. The aim is to establish the size and scope of DFIs and to compare and contrast them with the IFC.