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IFC Global Trade Finance Program Expands in Uruguay and Brazil


In Washington, DC:
Karina Manasseh

Phone: (5511) 5185-6881
E-mail:
 kmanasseh@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., June 13, 2007 — IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today announced that Nuevo Banco Comercial S.A. in Uruguay and its subsidiary, Banco Comercial Uruguai S.A. in Brazil, have joined IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program as issuing banks. The expanded bank participation will result in increased access to trade finance for smaller companies and in stronger economic growth in the two countries.

IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP) supports 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, thus enhancing their trade finance coverage.


Josť Fuentes, General Manager for Nuevo Banco Comercial, sees this agreement with IFC as “the first step in the construction of a relationship that will not only be beneficial for IFC and NBC, but for the small and medium enterprises that both institutions seek to reach."


Alejandro Conforte, Head of International and Financial Institutions for Nuevo Banco Comercial, said, “The participation in the GTFP is an important support for our growth strategy in the SME segment.  The program gives us the conditions to offer a wide and competitive set of trade products for companies in the south of Brazil, where demand significantly exceeds our current offerings, as well as in Uruguay.”


IFC’s emphasis on small and medium enterprises is part of the Corporation’s strategy of generating jobs and promoting economic growth as a way to reduce poverty, according to Yolande Duhem, IFC Senior Manager for the Southern Cone. “The Global Trade Finance Program is a key element of IFC’s strategy in Uruguay, where we focus on reaching out to banks that support the growth of small and medium enterprises,” she said.


James Scriven, IFC Associate Director for Financial Markets in Latin America, added,  “The IFC Global Trade Finance Program will help both banks enhance their ability to provide innovative trade solutions to their clients, especially in the small and midsize business sector. The addition of the two banks will enlarge the program’s network of correspondent banks worldwide, allowing expanded coverage for more businesses.”


Since the Global Trade Finance Program was launched in the region in February 2006, IFC has issued $186.7 million in guarantees in six countries of the region, to which Uruguay is now added: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Mexico. Brazil accounts for the highest volume, primarily for pre-export financing. Argentina’s volume is the next highest.  One-third of the guarantees issued support smaller and midsize businesses and interregional trade flows between emerging market nations.  Main industries covered through the program include agribusiness, automotives, consumer goods, industrial goods, commodities, oil and gas, telecommunications, and textiles.


About IFC

IFC is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.  IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people have opportunities to improve their lives. Over the past 50 years, IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion in funding for private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure, to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance, and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information, please visit
www.ifc.org.

About Nuevo Banco Comercial

Nuevo Banco Comercial, Uruguay’s largest bank in terms of loans, is headquartered in Montevideo, and has a national presence through 47 branches across Uruguay.  Nuevo Banco Comercial has a strong focus on smaller and midsize companies, which it serves through a diverse array of products.  The bank is controlled by a consortium of investors led by Advent International, an international private equity fund with 14 offices and nine affiliates in 25 countries.  For more information, visit
www.nbc.com.uy/.

About Banco Comercial Uruguai

Banco Comercial Uruguai, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NBC, is headquartered in Porto Alegre, and has an important presence serving clients in the south of Brazil through a network of branches in Caxias do Sul and Londrina.  Banco Comercial Uruguai has been serving Brazilian SMEs since 1997 and focuses mainly on trade and lending products.  For more information, visit
www.bancocomercial.com.br/.