Washington, D.C., September 14, 2006—The
International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, today announced that Banco Multiple Leon, S.A., of the Dominican
Republic, is the first issuing bank to join its Global Trade Finance Program
in the Caribbean.
IFC has approved a trade line for Banco Leon, the third largest private
commercial bank in the Dominican Republic with strong penetration in the
commercial and corporate sectors.
Salem Rohana, IFC’s resident representative for the Dominican Republic,
said, “A key objective of IFC in the Caribbean region is to support import-oriented
companies and the growth of small and medium enterprises. The Global
Trade Finance Program greatly helps us implement this strategy.”
The $500 million Global Trade Finance Program promotes trade with emerging
markets worldwide by supporting flows of goods and services to and from
developing countries. Through the program, IFC provides guarantee coverage
of bank risk in emerging markets, allowing recipients to expand their trade
finance transactions within an extensive network of countries and banks
and to enhance their trade finance coverage.
Antonio Alves, IFC’s Latin America trade specialist, said, “IFC’s Global
Trade Finance Program will allow Banco Leon to increase its trade finance
business in the region by establishing relationships with banks
in countries that export to the Dominican Republic, such as Brazil, Mexico,
and Colombia. Banco Leon will also be able to offer more trade finance
products to its clients.”
Manuel Peña-Morros, Banco Leon’s president, said, “We are delighted to
begin a relationship with IFC through the Global Trade Finance Program.
This will allow us to continue supporting our development while enhancing
the potential for international trade companies in the Dominican Republic.”
About Banco Leon
Banco Leon is a medium-size bank with 56 branches, half in the metropolitan
area of Santo Domingo. In addition to its strong position in the credit
card market, trade finance has been a strategic priority for the bank especially
for letters of credit and import financing.
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private
enterprise in developing countries. IFC finances private sector investments,
mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade,
helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides
technical assistance and advice to businesses and governments. From its
founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion
of its own funds for private sector investments in the developing world
and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies
in 140 developing countries. With the support of funding from donors, it
has also provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and advisory
services. For more information, visit www.ifc.org/gtfp.