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
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.
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.
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
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