Washington, D.C., April 20, 2007
– IFC (the International Finance Corporation), the private sector
arm of the World Bank Group, is publicly acknowledging the achievement
of Mexico’s Banco Compartamos and its shareholders on a successful placement
of US$467 million dollars in Series O shares, representing the bank’s
social capital. IFC is the third-largest shareholder in Banco Compartamos.
“This transaction confirms the level of maturity of Mexican financial
markets, and the growing awareness amongst investors of the potential of
the microfinancing sector as regards profitability, impact on development
and social responsibility,” said Atul Mehta, IFC’s Director for Latin
America and the Caribbean.
This operation is the first of its kind in Mexico and the largest in the
microfinancing sector. The success of the operation is shown also by the
fact that shares were taken up by both institutional and private investors,
and attracted both national and foreign investors.
The International Finance Corporation reaffirms its commitment to support
Compartamos and to promote the sustainable development of the microfinancing
sector in Mexico and Latin America.
The partnership between IFC and Compartamos began in 2001, when IFC provided
financing and equity to help Compartamos develop from a non-governmental
organization to a commercially viable entity, thus facilitating access
to market financing and expansion of services.
In 2004, IFC provided a 34% partial credit guarantee to two tranches of
a five-year bond in local currency (which received an investment grade
local rating of AA by Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch), the first for
a microfinance institution in Mexico. In September 2006, IFC granted the
equivalent in local currency of US$10 million in support of its growth
strategy. Prior to today’s shares placement, IFC had a holding of 10.6%
in Banco Compartamos.
The strategic priority of IFC, the largest international provider of funding
for microfinance in emerging economies, is assisting companies such as
Compartamos achieve their growth plans.
IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, promotes open and
competitive markets in developing countries. The IFC provides support to
private sector sustainable companies and other partners in the creation
of productive employment and the provision of basic services which will
enable people to escape poverty and improve their lives. As at FY06, IFC
Financial Products had committed over US$ 56 billion in financing for private
sector investment and had mobilized an additional US$ 25 billion in syndications
for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. The IFC Advisory Services,
together with other donors, have provided over US$ 1 billion in support
of programs to set up small enterprises, increase private participation
in infrastructure, create an enabling business environment, increase access
to financing and promote environmental and social sustainability. For more
information, please visit www.ifc.org.