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IFC approves US$ 150 million loan to BBVA Colombia to boost housing loans in Colombia


In Bogota:
Darcy Antonin Crowe
Phone: (57 1) 313 6449
Email: dcrowe@ifc.org

Constanza García
Phone: (57 1) 3471600 ext. 12031
Email: constanza.garcia@bbva.com

Bogotá, Colombia, April 11, 2018 —IFC, member of the World Bank Group, approved a loan for US$150 million to BBVA Colombia, a subsidiary of the BBVA Group, to strengthen the capacity of this financial institution to provide housing loans, and to directly and indirectly contribute to boost the Colombian economy and to improve the living conditions of the population in Colombia.

The loan will allow BBVA Colombia to strengthen the dynamics of growth in mortgage loans, which will play a fundamental role in boosting the development of the housing sector in Colombia and through it, that of the economy. The building sector represents about 4% of the country's GDP and has links with other sectors of the economy such as cement, iron, insurance, real estate services, among others. Likewise, housing ownership levels in Colombia are among the lowest in Latin America, and the country has an estimated housing deficit of about 3.5 million units.

Likewise, the housing sector is a fundamental part of the economic policy strategy in Colombia, and traditionally, a successful part of the growth recovery planning. In this regard, there are plans to encourage and reduce prices on the acquisition of housing loans for the middle class through subsidies to mortgage interest rates allowing access to more families.  
 
The mortgage portfolio in Colombia is still low, and there is a long way to go on that front. This type of financing represents only 7% of the GDP, lower than that of other countries in the region.

On the other hand, the sector is a great generator of both unskilled and skilled labor. World Bank estimates show that each new built house can create five jobs in sectors such as construction, finance, manufacturing and retail.

"At BBVA Colombia we are committed to the economic and social development of Colombia, and understand the housing sector as one of the most important to promote the improvement of the living conditions of Colombians, and one of the fundamental links of the economy that contributes in an important way to the growth of other subsectors", said the Executive President of BBVA Colombia, Óscar Cabrera Izquierdo.

According to Cabrera Izquierdo, "Colombia still has a way to go to provide quality housing to more Colombians, and thus to contribute to improving the quality of life and reducing poverty. This is how BBVA understood it, and that is why we are decidedly supporting this sector We are always looking to finance housing projects, and to support Colombians who want to acquire a home. We are leaders in the financing of housing in the sector with a market share of 17% and a portfolio that grew 5% at the end of 2017."

This operation is part of the long-standing relationship between IFC and BBVA Group, which in the past has included debt investments and foreign trade financing facilities provided to its subsidiaries in Paraguay, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Turkey.

“A strong housing sector is critical for Colombia’s sustainable development and we are confident that financial institutions such as BBVA can play an important in helping drive the growth of this sector,” said Georgina Baker, IFC Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and Central Asia. "BBVA is in an ideal partner in our efforts to increase competition and promote access to finance in Colombia’s banking sector," she said.

The financing also shows IFC's efforts to support Colombia's economic development having invested and mobilized nearly eight billion dollars since 1956. IFC’s strategy for Colombia is now largely focused on providing support to key private sector actors who can support the development of the country's capital markets and increase access to finance for Colombian companies.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About BBVA
BBVA Colombia is part of the BBVA Group and has a presence in Colombia since 1996 as a result of the purchase of 40% of Banco Ganadero by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A.; during the following years (1997-2001) BBVA carried out purchase transactions on the remaining portion of the shares, until reaching a 95.16% equity interest in April 2001. At present, the BBVA Group holds a 95.43% equity interest in BBVA Colombia.

Currently, the entity has a network of 373 offices, 1,300 ATMs and generates more than 5,200 quality jobs in Colombia.  It also owns a customer base of more than 2,2 million, of which 520,000 are digital. For more information about BBVA Colombia, visit www.bbva.com.co

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