WASHINGTON, D.C., June 23, 2000 —The
International Finance Corporation is helping to develop Guyana's financial
markets with a US$1 million equity investment to establish Guyana Americas
Merchant Bank (GuyAm Bank) as the country's first merchant bank.
In addition to IFC, GuyAm shareholders include Secure International Finance
Inc., a member of the Beherry group of companies, and the Guyana Bank for
Trade and Industry.
GuyAm Bank will begin operations with an initial equity capital of $5 million
and will provide local middle market companies with access to domestic
and foreign financing. The bank will offer technical assistance to companies
in need of restructuring and business plan development as well as brokerage
services, dollar lending and underwriting services.
Through this investment, GuyAm Bank can extend financing to the traditional
family-owned businesses in Guyana and help them to build expertise and
develop into internationally competitive companies, said Mary Ellen Iskenderian,
IFC Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private
sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and
improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the
developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.