The EBRD is considering a long term loan of up to USD 72 million to be made available to Majid Al Futtaim (“MAF Group” or the “Group”), one of the largest developers and operators of shopping malls and hypermarkets in the MENA region. The Group has exclusive franchising rights of Carrefour retail stores in 38 markets. The loan will be used to finance the Group’s Carrefour branded new retail store investments in Georgia and Kazakhstan as well as refinancing part of the intercompany loans used to finance existing retail stores in these three countries.
The Project’s transition impact is expected to derive from expansion of modern retail operations and further market expansion through backward linkages with local suppliers.
Majid Al Futtaim was founded in 1992 and it is now one of the largest developers and operators of shopping malls and hypermarkets in the MENA region. The Group owns and operates 17 shopping malls, 11 hotels and three mixed-use communities in MENA, with further developments underway in the region. It holds exclusive rights to the Carrefour franchise in 38 markets across MENA and Central Asia, operating a portfolio of over 55 hypermarkets and over 65 supermarkets in 14 countries.
Up to USD 72 million of multicurrency loan.
Up to USD 72 million.
Environmental and social categorisation, impact and mitigation
The Project has been categorised as B in accordance with the 2014 Environmental and Social Policy.
Environmental and social due diligence on this project is not yet complete. This PSD will need to be updated once due diligence has been completed and any required impact mitigation measures have been agreed with the Client as necessary and captured in an Environmental and Social Action Plan.
The risks and impacts associated with the development and redevelopment of new retail facilities are typically well known and readily avoided, minimised or mitigated. These are generally linked to land acquisition, labour conditions, occupational health and safety, fire safety, waste management, as well as contractor and supply chain management. Due diligence is currently ongoing and is focused on reviewing existing corporate policies and procedures for managing environmental, health and safety and social impacts both at the Group level and through the Group's retail subsidiaries in Georgia, Kazakhstan and Armenia, and assessing implementation capacity at both levels.
Majid Al Futtaim are a Global Compact participant since 2013 and are reportedly committed to developing and implementing good international CSR practice at the Group level. Majid Al Futtaim have focused initial efforts on the Properties side of the business, including the development of a Sustainability Policy and Strategy, a Pre-Acquisition Sustainability Policy, a Labour Standards Policy, regular Sustainability reporting, green building and energy standards, etc. A similar policy and reporting framework does not, however, appear to exist on the Retail side of the business and is yet to be developed and rolled-out internationally. According to Majid Al Futtaim, the development of an overarching sustainability policy, reporting framework and governance structure is planned for 2015 based on the findings of a sustainability review conducted across the group of companies in 2014.
Majid Al Futtaim Retail are operating under the Carrefour franchise and as such are required to operate in accordance with Carrefour’s Code of Business Conduct and apply the Social and Ethical Charter to its suppliers, among other Carrefour international standards, but it is not yet clear how these standards have been translated into country-level procedures and management systems and whether they are being implemented in a consistent manner in operations across Armenia, Georgia or Kazakhstan. While some positive developments (such as OHSAS certification, staff and supplier engagement and grievance mechanisms) are reportedly being rolled out across stores in all countries, some positive initiatives are currently limited to stores in the MENA region (e.g. energy performance benchmarking, introduction of reusable bags). Additional information about Majid Al Futtaim Retail’s corporate- and country-level operations will be reviewed to complete the due diligence and update this PSD prior to EBRD’s Board approval.
Laura Ford, Senior Treasury Manager
MAJID AL FUTTAIM HOLDING
PO Box 91100, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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