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IFC COMPLETES US$60 MILLION FINANCING PACKAGE FOR ARGENTINE BANK


Jannette Esguerra
Phone: (202) 458-5204
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: jesguerra@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., October 5, 1998 -- The International Finance Corporation, together with Barclays Bank, PLC and Landesbank Rheinland-Pfalz, today announced the successful completion of a US$60 million financing package to support Banco del Suquía S.A., a medium-sized regional bank in Argentina.

The financing package, which takes the form of a credit line, includes loans amounting to US$35 million for IFC’s account and syndicated loans of US$20 million for Barclays and US$5 million for Landesbank Rheinland-Pfalz.  Banco del Suquía will use the financing package to fund the bank's small and medium-sized enterprise lending and residential mortgage lending in the central provinces of Argentina, including Cordoba, Santa Fé, Entre Ríos, Mendoza, and Tucumán.


IFC Executive Vice President Mr. Jannik Lindbaek signed the loan agreements on behalf of the Corporation at the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings.  Present at the signing ceremony were Mr. Roque Fernández, Minister of Finance of Argentina, and Mr. Pedro Pou, Governor of the Central Bank of Argentina.


The successful completion of this financing package demonstrates IFC’s confidence in and strong support for Argentina, said Mr. Lindbaek.  The transaction represents Banco del Suquía’s first international syndication and sends a positive signal in this time of uncertainty in emerging markets.


Banco del Suquía is one of three Argentine-owned banks among the top 12 privately owned banks in the country.  Its lending operations to small and medium-sized enterprises account for more than half of its total lending.


As of June 30, 1998, IFC’s investment portfolio in Argentina amounted to $992 million, accounting for 9.2 percent of IFC’s net portfolio.  In the fiscal year ending in June, IFC invested US$170 million in seven projects in Argentina, ranging from agribusiness and manufacturing to education and health.


The project is consistent with IFC's strategy to support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises and strengthen Argentina's banking sector.


IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters economic growth in the developing world by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in the international financial markets, and providing technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.