WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 23 -- The International
Finance Corporation (IFC) has approved a US$25 million credit line and
an equity investment for Banco Industrial S.A. (BISA), one of Bolivia's
IFC will fund US$15 million of the credit line directly, while the remaining
US$10 million will be provided through an international commercial bank
syndication, which will be the first syndicated term loan to a Bolivian
financial institution. IFC's equity investment will be for up to 10 percent
of BISA's paid-in capital, or a maximum of US$2.7 million.
BISA, which was established as a private development bank in 1963, has
assets of approximately US$260 million and a successful track record of
channelling long-term funds to Bolivian private companies.
The credit line will help expand BISA's term-financing capability and address
the shortage of long-term project financing in Bolivia. As the government's
economic liberalization program has sparked more competition and a greater
emphasis on exports, Bolivian companies have had to expand and modernize
their operations in response.
"BISA has grown rapidly in recent years, reflecting the strong demand
for banking services in Bolivia," said Mr. Julio Lastres, Manager
of the Capital Markets Division in IFC's Latin America and the Caribbean
Department. "With this project, IFC is supporting BISA's high growth
potential and helping meet the increasing demand for medium- to long-term
funds, particularly among medium-sized companies, in Bolivia."
IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is the largest multilateral
source of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing