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IFC and Merrill Lynch sign warehousing line of credit with Metrofinanciera for the Mexican Peso equivalent of $100 million


In Washington, D.C.
Adriana Gómez

Phone:  (202) 458-5204

E-mail:  agomez@ifc.org


Mexico City/Washington, D.C., Nov. 28, 2006—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, and Merrill Lynch Mortgage Capital, Inc. today announced they have signed with Metrofinanciera, S.A. de C.V. the Mexican peso equivalent of a $100 million revolving line of credit. The financing will help fund mortgage loans for low- to middle-income home buyers, diversify Metrofinanciera’s funding sources, and maintain its securitization programs in the capital markets. IFC and Merrill Lynch will each provide the peso equivalent of $50 million.

Metrofinanciera is a Sofol, or a special-purpose financial company, and is Mexico’s fifth largest specialized mortgage lending institution by loans market share.  Its main activity is to provide mortgages to low-income individuals and construction loans to housing developers.

Atul Mehta, IFC’s Director for Latin America and the Caribbean said, “IFC’s investment underlines our strategy to develop the housing sector in Mexico by providing funding to key players, as well as to contribute to the development of the country’s capital markets.  In addition, with this investment IFC is playing an important catalytic role in Mexico, particularly given the collaboration with another leading investment bank such as Merrill Lynch.”


Armando Guzman, CEO of Metrofinanciera said, “This warehousing line of credit provided by IFC and Merrill Lynch is another success for Metrofinanciera in its long term strategy of diversification of funding sources.  The capacity and experience in financial markets of IFC and Merrill Lynch brings substantial strategic strength to Metrofinanciera.  Within the Sofoles in the Mexican housing finance sector, Metrofinanciera is the largest issuer of debt instruments, mortgage backed securities, and construction loan backed securities in the capital markets.”


Mr. Jim Cason, Managing Director of Merrill Lynch, added “We are excited about our relationship with both Metrofinanciera and IFC.  We believe there is great potential in the Mexican mortgage market

and are pleased that with this transaction we are able to further our involvement in this growth sector.”


About Metrofinanciera

Metrofinanciera was established in 1996 in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.  Metrofinanciera had total on-balance sheet assets equivalent to $963 million and equity of $69 million by year-end 2005.  Together with its off-balance sheet originated loans, its construction loans portfolio stood at $802 million, while its mortgage loans portfolio stood at $429 million.

About IFC

IFC’s strategy in Mexico’s housing sector has adopted a phased approach, in collaboration with Sociedad Hipotecaria Federal.  The first phase focused on helping develop a vibrant primary mortgage market through local currency debt facilities to major originators in the sector.  Now, in the second phase, IFC is helping develop the secondary mortgage market by providing warehouse credit lines to support mortgage securitization programs and credit enhancement facilities for residential mortgage-backed securities and other capital market securities.


IFC is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private enterprise in developing countries. IFC finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to businesses and governments. From its founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion of its own funds for private sector investments in the developing world and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. With the support of funding from donors, it has also provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and advisory services. In Mexico, since 1956, IFC has invested $5.6 billion, including $2.2 billion in syndications, in Mexico, in sectors ranging from infrastructure and manufacturing to agribusiness and the financial sector, making the country the third-largest recipient of IFC financing in dollar value, after Brazil and Argentina. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org/gfm.

About Merrill Lynch

Merrill Lynch is one of the world's leading wealth management, capital markets and advisory companies with offices in 37 countries and territories and total client assets of approximately $1.5 trillion. As an investment bank, it is a leading global trader and underwriter of securities and derivatives across a broad range of asset classes and serves as a strategic advisor to corporations, governments, institutions and individuals worldwide. Merrill Lynch owns just under half of BlackRock, one of the world's largest publicly traded investment management companies with approximately $1 trillion in assets under management. For more information on Merrill Lynch, please visit
www.ml.com.