Asunción, Paraguay, June 16, 2015—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, provided a US$75 million loan to Banco
Continental in Paraguay to increase access to finance for small and medium
sized enterprises (SMEs) that play a vital role in creating jobs and reducing
IFC’s financing consists of a US$50
million loan from IFC and a US$25 million loan through the IFC Managed
Co-Lending Portfolio Program, a syndications platform that offers institutional
investors the ability to co-invest in IFC’s loan portfolio.
“IFC’s continued support to Banco
Continental will bolster our efforts to expand lending to small and medium
sized enterprises, especially those focused on the export sector,” said
Hugo Ubeda, CEO of Banco Continental. “This new investment will consolidate
our leadership in the financial sector in Paraguay and our capacity to
lend to SMEs that in many cases are located in rural areas with low banking
penetration,” Ubeda said.
Banco Continental and IFC have been
working together in Paraguay since July 2008 when the bank joined a trade
finance facility from IFC which currently has a US$20 million limit. In
2009 IFC’s Capitalization Equity Fund invested US$20 million in the Bank’s
capital and continued to support Banco Continental as a shareholder until
“Our long-term partnership with Banco
Continental is helping the bank serve low-income sectors of the population
and create a more inclusive financial marketplace,” said Salem Rohana,
IFC Country Manager for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. “Financial
institutions such as Banco Continental play a significant role in supporting
key drivers of economic growth,” he said.
IFC’s strategy in Paraguay promotes
business expansion into other emerging markets, supports micro, small,
and medium enterprises, fosters global trade, and protects natural resources
through environmentally sustainable business practices.
For more information about IFC in Latin
America and the Caribbean, visit www.ifc.org/lac.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme
poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22
billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle
the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit
About Banco Continental
Banco Continental is a commercial bank
headquartered in Asuncion that was established in 1979. The bank employs
nearly 1,300 staff and has 60 branches across the country. As of December
2014, Continental was the largest bank in Paraguay in terms of loans and
is focused in SME financing with a significant presence in the agribusiness
segment. Continental has grown considerably while keeping adequate profitable
levels and reinvesting most earnings in order to back its asset growth.