Washington D.C., April 30, 2004—The
International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, will provide $25 million to support small and medium enterprises
that are suppliers and subcontractors of Construtora Norberto Odebrecht,
a leading Latin American engineering and construction company and Brazil’s
largest services exporter.
IFC is providing a corporate loan to CNO to help fund advances and capacity
building for SMEs in Latin America. Advances from CNO are typically
the main source of funding these firms use to run their day-to-day operations,
since they lack or have very limited access to bank financing.
“This operation will help enhance the productivity of SMEs and strengthen
their links with CNO,” said Bernard Pasquier, IFC’s director for Latin
America and the Caribbean. He added, “It also exemplifies our continued
support to Brazilian companies that adopt strong sustainable business practices,
and shows IFC’s commitment as a long-term partner to its clients in Latin
Rogério Ibrahim, chief financial officer of CNO, said, “This transaction
reflects the growing relationship between the Odebrecht Group and IFC.
We are very pleased to have earned the continuing confidence of IFC
and appreciate its support to our small and medium suppliers and subcontractors.”
Founded in 1945 in the northeastern state of Bahia, CNO provides state-of-the-art
technical expertise in design and construction of large-scale projects,
including highways, railways, bridges, tunnels, subways, buildings, port
facilities, dams, and industrial facilities in such sectors as mining,
steel, and cement. CNO undertakes projects in all regions of Brazil as
well as in most South American countries, Central America, Europe, the
United States, and Africa. CNO is a subsidiary of Odebrecht S.A., one of
the largest Brazilian private-sector conglomerates.
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, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
Since its founding in 1956 through the close of the last fiscal year on
June 30, 2003, IFC committed more than $37 billion of its own funds and
arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990 companies in 140 developing
countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio at the end of FY03 was $16.8
billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held for participants in loan
Brazil is IFC's largest partner, not only in the region but worldwide.
In fiscal year 2003, Brazil was the largest recipient of IFC funds for
a second consecutive year, with funding amounting to $888.4 million.