Washington, D.C., November 24, 2003 - The
International Finance Corporation (IFC) -the private sector arm of the
World Bank Group- and Banco Interfin signed today a $15 million Credit
Line Agreement and a $5 million Subordinated Loan Agreement. The financing
facility will be used by Interfin for onlending to SMEs and for the strengthening
of its capital structure. The operation will enable the Interfin
group to make strategic acquisitions and consolidate its position as one
of the leading providers of financial services in Central America.
Declan Duff, Director of IFC’s Global Financial Markets Department, said:
“Interfin has been a strong partner for IFC in Costa Rica and has
successfully demonstrated its ability to provide financing to local SMEs.
Support to SMEs is essential to foster entrepreneurship and to increase
employment. We are very pleased to be supporting Interfin’s strategic
“This operation is important in the context of the integration of the
Central American financial sector and is expected to improve the efficient
provision of financial services to local clients”, added Bernard Pasquier,
IFC’s Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Luis Liberman Ginsburg, Interfin’s General Manager also stated:"
We are extremely pleased with the fine partnership we have developed with
the IFC over the past decade. They fully understand and appreciate the
long-term loan and lease financing needs of Costa Rican SMEs and Interfin’s
desire to be a strong player regionally. We thank the IFC for the confidence
placed in us and look forward to continuing to work together in the future."
Interfin is the leading private sector bank in Costa Rica with assets as
of September 30, 2003 of $586 million equivalent and equity of $52 million
equivalent. Interfin started its operations in 1979 and specializes in
corporate banking to medium and large companies and retail lending to the
middle and upper class segments located primarily in the San Jose metropolitan
area. Corporacion Interfin, the largest private financial group in Costa
Rica, is the holding company of 10 subsidiaries involved in banking, leasing,
brokerage, pension fund management, investment banking and asset management.
IFC’s mission (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international
financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments
and businesses. Since its founding in 1956, IFC has committed more than
$37 billion of its own funds and has arranged $22 billion in syndications
for 2,990 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's committed portfolio
at the end of FY03 was $16.8 billion with an additional $6.6 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.