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IFC provides $75 million to Banco Continental to Boost Access to Finance in Paraguay


In Bogota, Colombia:
Darcy Antonin Crowe
Phone: +57 1 313 6449
E-mail: dcrowe@ifc.org

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 poverty.

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 early 2015.

“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.

About IFC
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 www.ifc.org

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.  

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