Updated: 05/15/2013 01:08 | By Agence France-Presse

Strauss-Kahn opens South Sudan bank

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn opened an investment bank in South Sudan Tuesday, a rare public return to the financial world since he was embroiled in a sex scandal two years ago.


Surrounded by leaping leopard-skin clad dancers, Strauss-Kahn opened the bank to loud applause.

The bank includes partners from across Europe and other countries, as well South Sudanese partners.

"It's not a bank coming from abroad, it will be one of your banks, and that's very important for your country," he said to a crowd of officials and curious onlookers filling a street usually choked with traffic.

The National Credit Bank (NCB) aims to spur investment within the grossly underdeveloped new nation, that won independence in 2011 after decades of war with Sudan.

South Sudan Central Bank Governor Kornelio Koriom Mayik said that despite South Sudan's challenges -- including insecurity and a lack of infrastructure -- the time was ripe to invest in the country's oil, mineral, agricultural and livestock sectors.

"It has everything. What is needed is the experience that is required for a new country like South Sudan, the capital, the experience, the technology for investment by experienced people like our friend like Dominique", he said.

However, despite Mayik's claims South Sudan has the "rules and regulations in place" to encourage investment, reports of corruption and heavy-handed security forces have so far attracted few large investors.

Around 22 banks currently operate in South Sudan.

The one-time French presidential hopeful and former head of the International Monetary Fund, Strauss-Kahn resigned from his post after New York hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo accused him of sexual assault in May 2011.

Prosecutors dropped criminal charges in August 2011 on the grounds of Diallo's credibility, and Strauss-Kahn agreed to a financial settlement in a later civil suit.

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