Washington, D.C., March 7, 2006—The
International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, today announced that Banco Mercantil do Brasil has joined its
Global Trade Finance Program as an issuing bank.
Banco Mercantil is a midsize bank that focuses on retail banking and lending
to small and medium businesses located mainly in the southeast region of
the country. It is the second issuing bank in Brazil to join the IFC network;
Bic Banco joined in February.
Antonio Neto, IFC’s Latin America trade specialist, said, “IFC’s Global
Trade Finance Program will allow Banco Mercantil to increase its trade
finance business worldwide as well as enhance its ability to provide efficient
trade solutions to its corporate clients.”
The Global Trade Finance Program promotes trade with emerging markets worldwide
by supporting flows of goods and services to and from developing countries.
Through the program, IFC provides guarantee coverage of bank risk in emerging
markets, allowing recipients to expand their trade finance transactions
within an extensive network of countries and banks and to enhance their
trade finance coverage.
Saran G. Kebet-Koulibaly, IFC’s associate director for Latin America and
country manager for Brazil, said, “A key objective of IFC in Brazil is
to support export-oriented companies and the growth of small and medium
enterprises. The Global Trade Finance Program helps us implement
Milton Loureiro, Banco Mercantil’s shareholder and executive director,
said, “The demand for trade finance products among our corporate clientele
has increased in recent years as a result of the growing internationalization
of the Brazilian economy. The IFC program will help us meet this
demand and provide our customers access to developing markets.”
IFC in Brazil
During fiscal year 2005, Brazil received the largest amount of IFC
financing, in dollar value, among Latin American countries. IFC invested
$591million, including $190 million in syndications, in sectors ranging
from agribusiness and transportation to manufacturing and the financial
sector. IFC’s total portfolio in Brazil was $913 million at June
IFC's strategy for Brazil focuses on enhancing clients' prospects for competitiveness
and growth, improving the country's social equity through voluntary actions
by the private sector, and continuing to promote sustainability. Since
1956, when Brazil joined IFC, the Corporation has provided $7.45 billion,
including syndications, for 162 companies.
The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the
World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. IFC coordinates
its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but
is legally and financially independent. Its 178 member countries
provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.
The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment
in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve
people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing
world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps
clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical
assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding
in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own
funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140
developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was
$19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants
in loan syndications. For more information, visit www.ifc.org/gtfp.
About Banco Mercantil do Brasil
With more than 60 years of history, Banco Mercantil do Brasil is a
regional retail bank focused on small and medium size companies as well
as individuals. The bank's area of focus is the Southeastern region of
Brazil, with an emphasis on Minas Gerais State, where the bank originated
and where its headquarters are located (Belo Horizonte). The bank is controlled
and directed by a group of families from Minas Gerais. Banco Mercantil
do Brasil also offers credit card issuance, financing of vehicles, leasing
of vehicles and equipment, real estate lending, rural lending, foreign
trade financing, private pension plans, and insurance brokerage services.