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IFC and Grupo Factoring de Occidente Help Expand Financial Services for Small Businesses in Colombia


In Lima, Peru:
Clara Ugarte Perrin, IFC

Phone: 511-611-2501

E-Mail:
CUgarteperrin@ifc.org  

In Washington, D.C.:

John McNally, IFC

Phone: +1 202 458 0723

E-Mail:
JMcnally@ifc.org


Bogotá, Colombia, April 17, 2013 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with Grupo Factoring de Occidente (GFO) to diversify its funding sources and increase its ability to finance small and medium enterprises, which are essential to Colombia’s economic growth and job creation.

IFC is providing a US$5 million loan to GFO, an important player in the Colombian factoring sector, which focuses on providing liquidity to small and mid-sized businesses that are underserved by financial institutions. GFO currently serves more than 2,200 SMEs in 32 municipalities. Since 2003, the company has discounted more than 32,000 transactions for a total value of US$730 million.


“IFC’s support will allow us to reach more SMEs through a product which is usually available only for large corporate companies” said Juan Carlos Gonzalez, GFO’s CEO.


Although Colombia’s economy has grown at a steady pace, access to finance for SMEs is limited and working capital and liquidity continue to constrain their growth. The factoring industry is considered an important financing alternative for SMEs because it provides an integrated service that includes the purchase of SMEs’ trade-related receivables, trade bill collection, and administration. These services allow SMEs to take advantage of strong growth opportunities and overcome capital and access-to-finance constraints.


“Promoting lending to SMEs which are not commonly served by commercial banks, is key to our strategy in Colombia,” said Giri Jadeja, IFC Manager for Financial Markets in Latin America and the Caribbean. “Our partnership with GFO and its sponsors aims to expand services that will support individual and small entrepreneurs in the country and more equitable growth.”  


IFC’s financing is consistent with the World Bank Group’s strategy in Colombia to expand opportunities for economic growth and competitiveness, reduce poverty and inequality, and enhance the level of financial services being offered.


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About GFO

GFO, established in 1996, is one of the first factoring companies established in Colombia. The company is a non-regulated finance company specialized in factoring operations focused in providing liquidity to small and medium companies. The Company has a nation-wide coverage, with offices in Bogota and Cali. During the last five years, GFO has discounted over US$730 million invoices.


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