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IFC Welcomes Adoption of Equator Principles by Banco Galicia


In So Paulo, Brazil:
Karina Manasseh

Phone:  +55 11 5185-6881

E-mail:  
kmanasseh@ifc.org

In Washington, DC:

Lucie Giraud

Phone:  +1 (202) 458-4662

E-mail:  
lgiraud@ifc.org


Washington, March 29, 2007—IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, welcomes the announcement by Argentina’s Banco Galicia that it has become the 47th financial institution to adopt the Equator Principles. This confirms the bank’s commitment to sustainability and leadership in corporate and social responsibility in Argentina. It further establishes the Equator Principles as the international environmental and social standard for project finance.

Latin America has played a leading role in adhering to the Equator Principles among emerging economies. Brazil was the first developing country to be represented by banks adopting the principles, followed by South Africa, and now Argentina with Banco Galicia. These banks have been playing an increasing role in project finance in their respective countries. By adopting the Equator Principles, they are not only leveling the playing field, but also reducing their risks by investing in like-minded companies with a focus on sustainability.


According to Rachel Kyte, IFC’s Director for Environmental and Social Development, “As the first Argentine bank active in project finance to adopt the Equator Principles, Galicia is taking a major step forward. Galicia is setting the standard locally, and we hope more banks in Latin America will follow suit.”


The Equator Principles are a voluntary set of guidelines for managing social and environmental issues related to the financing of development projects, which are based on IFC’s performance standards. Launched by 10 banks in June 2003, the principles were revised in June 2006 and have been adopted to date by 47 financial institutions. In total, these banks are estimated to arrange about 85 percent of project financing worldwide.


In adopting the Equator Principles, Banco Galicia will provide loans only to projects that are in compliance with internationally recognized social and environmental standards.


The current signatories to the Equator Principles are: ABN AMRO Bank, ANZ, Banco Bradesco, Banco do Brasil, Banco Galicia, Banco Ita, Bank of America, Barclays plc, BBVA, BES Group, BMO Financial Group, BTMU, Caja Navarra, Calyon, CIBC, Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse Group, Dexia Group, Dresdner Bank, E+Co, EKF, FMO, Fortis, HBOS, HSBC Group, HypoVereinsbank, ING Group, Intesa Sanpaolo, JPMorgan Chase, KBC, La Caixa, Manulife, MCC, Millennium bcp, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Nedbank Group, Rabobank Group, Royal Bank of Canada, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Scotiabank, SMBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Unibanco, Wachovia, Wells Fargo, WestLB AG, and Westpac Banking Corporation. For more information on the Equator Principles, please visit
www.equator-principles.com.

About IFC

IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.  IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06, IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion in funding for private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure, to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance, and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information, please visit
www.ifc.org.