Washington, D.C., June 4, 2013—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group announced today an IFC investment
in Itau Unibanco of $470 million, about 1 billion Brazilian reais, to expand
access to finance for women-owned businesses throughout Brazil.
This is the first investment of IFC’s
Banking on Women program in Latin America and the largest worldwide. It
will help promote inclusive growth and job creation, as well as additional
developmental benefits that come through improved credit access to women,
such as access to quality education, health and housing.
IFC’s investment consists of a $100
million loan and a $370 million syndicated loan. The syndicated loan participants
include Bank of America, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, National Bank of Abu
Dhabi and the Development Bank of Japan.
More than 40 percent of businesses registered
in Latin America and the Caribbean are owned by women, according to the
World Bank-IFC Enterprise survey. However, the credit gap for women-owned
enterprises remains high throughout the region. Brazil is the country with
the largest gap, where 45 percent of women-owned SMEs identify access to
finance as a major constraint in operating and growing their businesses.
In addition to financing, IFC intends to provide advisory services
to help Itau Unibanco develop financial products that will address the
needs of women-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“Gender equality is at the center of
the development agenda in Brazil, and expanding access to finance for women-owned
SMEs, is a critical part of IFCs strategy to expand opportunities and inclusion
in the country,” said IFC CEO and EVP, Jin-Yong Cai. “This partnership
will bring IFC’s successful Banking on Women program to Latin American.”
“We very much welcome IFC’s partnership
and support to help Itaś Unibanco expand its women owned SMEs base while
providing additional long-term capital from important partner financial
institutions”, said Cāndido Bracher, Itaś BBA CEO.
“Women behave, think and act differently
than men so there is a need to consider new ways to serve this important
sector”, said Andrea Pinotti, Director at Itaś Unibanco. “This transaction
with IFC is another important step to consolidate Itau Unibanco’s project
in providing more access to women entrepreneurs”, Pinotti added.
IFC’s financing for Itau Unibanco within
the Banking on Women Program is part of the World Bank Group’s approach
to support Government policies and priorities in Brazil aimed at
reducing gender gaps in access to quality health and education services,
closing differences in economic opportunities between women and men, and
enhancing women's voice in society.
IFC’s Banking on Women program is playing
a catalytic role in helping financial institutions to serve women entrepreneurs
in a sustainable and profitable. Since its launch in 2010 it has made 20
investments totaling $165 million in Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth
by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial
markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments.
In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion,
leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation,
and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more
information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Itau Unibanco
Itaś Unibanco is one of the largest
banks in the world by market value. With more than 95 thousand collaborators
around the globe, Itaś Unibanco has a network of over 33 thousand units
in Brazil and abroad. The Bank has a strong focus in micro, small and medium
companies, with a credit portfolio of around BRL 90 billion in Brazil.