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
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.
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