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Atlantic Bank Becomes First in Belize to Join IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program


In Washington, D.C.:
Adriana Gomez, IFC

Phone: (202) 458 5204

E-mail:
agomez@ifc.org

In Belize:
Sandra Bedran, Atlantic Bank Belize

Phone: (501) 223 4123
E-mail:
sbedran@atlabank.com


Washington, D.C., March 23, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that Atlantic Bank has become the first bank in Belize to join the Global Trade Finance Program, helping the bank increase short-term trade financing for small and medium local firms.

The IFC Global Trade Finance Program supports trade with emerging markets worldwide by providing risk mitigation. By extending and complementing the capacity of banks to deliver trade finance solutions, IFC aims to increase developing countries’ share of global trade and promote South-South flows of goods and services. As a member of the program, Atlantic Bank will be able to expand its trade finance capacity.


“This relationship with IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program will help us diversify our source of funding for import and export financing,” said Sandra Bedran, Atlantic Bank’s General Manager. “It will also increase our capacity to deliver trade products at a competitive pricing to a broad number of Belizean clients.”


Giri Jadeja, IFC Senior Manager for Global Financial Markets in Latin America and the Caribbean, said, “Atlantic Bank’s entry into the program is a key element of IFC’s efforts supporting Belizean small and midsize enterprises active in trade. This is part of IFC’s strategy in the region to encourage greater economic development in Central America and the Caribbean.”


Since launching the Global Trade Finance Program in 2005, IFC has issued $2.3 billion in guarantees to facilitate trade flows with Latin America and the Caribbean, with a network of 49 issuing banks in the region. More than 60 percent of the guarantees issued in the region have benefited local small and midsize businesses and supported interregional trade flows between emerging markets.


For more information about the trade program, contact Antonio Alves, Senior Regional Head of Trade Finance for Latin America and the Caribbean, at
aalves1@ifc.org or visit www.ifc.org/gtfp.

About IFC  

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About Atlantic Bank

Established in 1971, Atlantic Bank serves over 50,000 customers in its15 branches and points of service located throughout Belize, which is the largest retail network in the country. The bank’s holding company, Sociedad Nacional de Inversiones, S.A., a Honduran company owns 55 percent of the bank’s total shares, with the remaining shares held by Belizean and Honduran investors. The bank is the third largest in the system with a 16 percent market share of loans and a 19 percent market share of deposits with a marked focus in retail and SME banking. For more information, visit
www.atlabank.com.