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IFC Invests in Finandina to Support Colombia’s Transportation Sector


For more information:
Karina Manasseh
Phone: + 55 11 5185-6881
E-mail: Kmanasseh@ifc.org


Cartagena, Colombia, May 19, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement to invest in Finandina S.A., a leading car financing and leasing company in Colombia that serves micro and small transportation business owners. This investment will help expand the company’s reach and support the transportation sector, which is essential to the country’s export-oriented growth.

IFC's equity investment of up to 10 percent (up to $17 million equivalent) in Finandina marks a first step in building a long-term strategic alliance with the firm. IFC’s participation as an independent shareholder will also help strengthen the firm’s corporate governance and facilitate a potential listing in the local exchange.  

“The support from IFC will help us strengthen our bond issuance program, which will offer our clients a greater portfolio of products tailored to meet the needs of small and medium companies. It will also allow us to accelerate our expansion, with new branch offices and corporate plans,” said Carlos Vegalara Franco, President of Finandina.
 
Colombia’s banking penetration is low compared to international standards, and small and medium enterprises have limited access to financial services. Expanding access to finance for the transportation sector is vital to sustaining economic growth in the country. By partnering with Finandina, IFC will help expand the range of financial services for smaller businesses that are active in the sector, helping improve the country’s freight distribution capacity.

Atul Mehta, IFC Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, said, “IFC’s equity financing will help strengthen Finandina as a key player that provides innovative solutions to small business owners in Colombia’s transportation sector. This investment is also part of IFC's strategy of supporting the country’s efforts to improve transportation infrastructure and logistics.”

IFC’s total committed portfolio in the country as of April 2008 was over $1,073 million.

IFC’s strategy for Colombia supports sectors that are essential to the country’s financial development. This includes financing infrastructure projects involving public-private partnerships, such as ports, roads, and airports, as well as supporting logistics companies. IFC also aims to help leading Colombian groups modernize and expand their businesses internationally. Improving access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises is also at the core of IFC strategy in the country.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About Finandina
Finandina is a nonbanking financial institution that specializes in leasing automotive vehicles. Headquartered in Bogota, the company also has branches in Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Cali, Ibagué, Medellín, and Villavicencio. As of March 2008, it had assets of $635,000 million pesos. Finandina is rated BRC 1+ for its short-term bond issuance and CDs and rated AA+ for its long-term products, according to BRC Investor Services.