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Banco Portugues de Negocios do Brasil Joins the IFC Global Trade Finance Program


In Washington, D.C.:
Adriana Gomez
Phone: +1 (202) 458 5204
E-mail: agomez@ifc.org


Miami, Florida, November 6, 2007 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that Banco Portugues de Negocios do Brasil has joined the IFC Global Trade Finance Program as an issuing bank, becoming the second financial institution in Brazil to be both a confirming and issuing bank under the program.  The agreement was signed in Miami at the 41st Annual Assembly of the Federation of Latin American Banks.

BPN Brasil is a midsize bank that focuses on lending to small and medium businesses, mainly in the southeast region of the country. It is the eight issuing bank in Brazil to join the IFC network.

Carlos Catraio, BPN Brasil’s CEO, 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 improve our customers’ access to developing markets.”

The Global Trade Finance Program promotes trade with emerging markets worldwide by supporting flows of goods and services to and from developing countries. 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.

Atul Mehta, IFC Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, 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 this strategy. This agreement will help BPN Brasil increase its network of correspondent banking and enhance its ability to provide efficient trade solutions to the middle market in Brazil.”

In fiscal 2007, Brazil received the largest amount of IFC financing, in dollar value, among Latin American countries. IFC invested $509 million in private sector projects in various industries, ranging from agribusiness and transportation to manufacturing and the financial sector. IFC’s total committed portfolio in the country at the end of June 2007 was $1.6 billion.

IFC’s strategy in Brazil focuses on projects that promote access to finance, including microfinance and financial markets development.  IFC also supports export-oriented companies by helping improve corporate governance and setting environmental and social benchmarks, particularly in sensitive sectors such as agribusiness. Helping local companies become regional or global players is at the core of IFC’s strategy, as well as financing the infrastructure sector, particularly ports, power, rail, and roads. IFC will continue partnering with key players to promote sustainable practices in Brazil’s private sector.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through loan participations and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

IFC Global Trade Finance Program
Since the launch of the IFC Global Trade Finance Program in Latin America and the Caribbean in February 2006, IFC has issued $405 million in guarantees in eight countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Mexico, and Uruguay. Brazil accounts for the highest volume, primarily for pre-export financing. Argentina’s volume is the next highest.  Over 50 percent of the guarantees issued benefited small and midsize businesses and supported interregional trade flows between emerging market nations.  The main industries covered include agribusiness, automotives, consumer goods, industrial goods, commodities, oil and gas, telecommunications, and textiles. For more information, visit www.ifc.org/gtfp.