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IFC TO FINANCE ENERGY COMPANY IN ARGENTINA


L. Joseph


WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 10 -- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has approved financing of $80 million for Compania General de Combustibles S.A. (CGC), an energy company based in Argentina. The agreement was signed at IFC headquarters in Washington, D.C. today. The financing consists of an equity investment of US$15 million and loans of US$65 million, of which US$25 million will be for IFC's own account and US$40 million will be syndicated with commercial banks and other financial institutions. It will help CGC develop hydrocarbon reserves, expand and modernize marketing operations and petroleum product handling facilities, and increase working capital. CGC is a fully-owned subsidiary of Sociedad Commercial del Plata S.A., which is one of Argentina's blue-chip companies and has interests in energy, engineering, construction, and public services. "Argentina's hydrocarbon sector has been transformed in the past two and a half years and is now the country's most open and dynamic industry as a result of t
he government's privatization and deregulation efforts," said Mr. M. A. K. Alizai, Director of IFC's Oil, Gas, and Mining Department. "Argentina is increasing its exports of hydrocarbon products to neighbouring markets and IFC's financing of this high-priority area is critical to sustaining the country's economic growth." The CGC project meets World Bank environmental requirements and will be monitored to ensure compliance. IFC is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and the largest multilateral source of financing for private sector projects in developing countries. (30)