Washington DC, March 14, 2018 — IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is structuring a transaction to provide
up to $115 million in financing to Nicaragua’s Banco LAFISE BANCENTRO,
S.A. to boost access to credit for small and medium entrepreneurs and increase
access to housing loans for families.
In addition, IFC’s financing is linked to the development of LAFISE BANCENTRO’S
climate smart portfolio for companies that want to adopt more energy efficient
practices and utilize cleaner energy sources. The financing will allow
more companies to access credit to invest in resource efficient and clean
“With IFC’s support, we are helping more Nicaraguans follow their dreams
– whether that means growing a business or becoming a homeowner for the
first time,” said Mr. Roberto J. Zamora Llanes, LAFISE BANCENTRO’S Chairman.
“IFC’s support also allows us to make funds available that are targeted
to energy efficiency.”
Over the past five years, Nicaragua’s economic growth has averaged about
4.8 percent, becoming the country with the second highest growth in Central
America. Despite this, poverty and inequality remain high.
IFC’s loan to LAFISE BANCENTRO aims to improve access to financing and
access to housing – two important needs in the country.
Small and medium enterprises in Nicaragua are an important engine for job
creation, however they face a substantial credit gap of $2.4 billion. Only
15 percent of them have access to formal financing, which limits their
ability to grow.
“Financial inclusion plays a vital role in economic development,” said
Marcelo Castellanos, Regional Industry Manager for Financial Institutions
in Latina America. “It can improve people’s lives in measurable ways
by generating income and economic activity. Through this project with LAFISE
BANCENTRO, IFC hopes to foster innovation and strengthen the financial
sector in Nicaragua.”
Nicaragua’s government estimates that the country needs nearly one million
more homes to fill its housing deficit. IFC’s loan will help LAFISE BANCENTRO
grow its housing portfolio to provide additional mortgage loans.
LAFISE BANCENTRO will also use the funding to provide loans to finance
climate smart projects. By introducing green finance standards into LAFISE
BANCENTRO’s lending practices, IFC hopes to encourage other Nicaraguan
financial institutions which are unfamiliar with this market to follow
The loan to LAFISE BANCENTRO will be committed in two different tranches:
the first tranche, in March 2018, consists of a senior debt of $42.5 million
and a subordinated debt of $32.5 million that will strengthen LAFISE’s
capital. From the total amount, $50 million will be from IFC’s own account
and the remaining $25 million will be provided by OFID (the OPEC Fund for
International Development). The second tranche is expected to be committed
in April 2018 and includes a senior debt of $20 million and a subordinated
debt of $20 million provided by other parallel lenders. Senior loans will
be granted with a tenor of 7 years and subordinated loans with a tenor
of 10 years.
OFID has supported sustainable development projects in Nicaragua since
2000. The institution’s public sector, private sector and trade finance
mechanisms have together allocated more than $230 million to projects in
the country’s transport, energy, agriculture and water and sanitation
Banco LAFISE BANCENTRO, S.A. is the largest banking subsidiary of LAFISE
GROUP, a financial group established in 1985, with presence in eleven countries
and more than $4 billion in assets. IFC’s relationship with LAFISE GROUP
started in 2008. Since then, IFC has provided trade lines for Banco LAFISE
COSTA RICA, Banco LAFISE PAMAMA and Banco LAFISE HONDURAS.
IFC, a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3
billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the
power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org
OFID (the OPEC Fund for International Development) is the development finance
institution established by the Member States of OPEC in 1976 as a channel
of aid to developing countries. OFID works in cooperation with developing
country partners and the international donor community to stimulate economic
growth and alleviate poverty in all disadvantaged regions of the world.
It does this by providing financing to build essential infrastructure,
strengthen social services delivery and promote productivity, competitiveness
and trade. OFID’s work is people-centered, focusing on projects that meet
basic needs – such as food, energy, clean water and sanitation, healthcare
and education – with the aim of encouraging self-reliance and inspiring
hope for the future. See www.ofid.org
About Banco LAFISE BANCENTRO, S.A.
LAFISE BANCENTRO was founded in 1991 and it is the second largest Bank
in Nicaragua in terms of assets with 24% of the market share. The Bank
has a strong participation in the commercial and industrial sectors; moreover
consolidates the operation of two subsidiaries, SEGUROS LAFISE, S.A. and
ALMACENADORA LAFISE, S.A. LAFISE BANCENTRO and its subsidiaries have over
2,800 employees and they are managed by a professional management team
with a broad knowledge of economic activities in Central America. For more
information, visit: https://www.lafise.com/