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IFC Restructures $310 Million in Loans to Argentina’s Banco Galicia


Contact in IFC:
Adriana Gomez
Phone:+1 (202) 458-5204

Fax:    +1 (202) 974-4384

E-mail:
agomez@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., May 20, 2004—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has restructured $310 million in outstanding loans to Argentina’s Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires S.A.  The restructured loans include $65 million in loans for IFC’s account and a $245 million syndicated loan.  

This operation is part of the general restructuring of Banco Galicia’s outstanding debt of $1.34 billion equivalent.  During the discussions, IFC served as chair of the Ad Hoc Steering Committee of Banco Galicia’s unsecured creditors. Banco Galicia is the largest private sector commercial bank in Argentina in terms of assets ($7.4 billion as of February 2004) and third in terms of shareholders’ equity ($448 million).  The restructuring is a critical step in the bank’s plan to improve its competitiveness as it emerges from the difficult environment of the last three years.


Jyrki I. Koskelo, IFC’s director for Global Financial Markets, said, “Banco Galicia has maintained a strong franchise and reputation during difficult times in Argentina.  By improving its capitalization and overall financial profile, the restructuring strengthens the competitiveness of one of the country’s leading banks, allowing it to pursue selective growth of its business offerings in an improving economic climate.”


Bernard Pasquier, IFC’s director for Latin America, added, “The completion of Banco Galicia’s restructuring is an important development for the private sector in Argentina.  Revitalizing the banking sector is one of the crucial steps necessary for the sustainable recovery of the Argentine economy.”


Jonathan R. Hakim, IFC’s director of Syndications and Resource Mobilization, said, “This is a very complex and significant restructuring.  We are pleased that we were able to work closely with a large group of B-loan participants to achieve this result.”


In fiscal year 2003, IFC committed $1.8 billion to 54 projects in 16 countries of the Latin America and Caribbean Region. This was an increase of $706 million from investment commitments made to the region during fiscal year 2002, and the largest amount committed by IFC to Latin America and the Caribbean in recent years. The total IFC financing amount also included $918 million mobilized from
banks participating in IFC syndicated loans.


IFC's financing to Latin America and the Caribbean accounted for almost half of IFC's global funding to clients in fiscal year 2003, the latter of which totaled $5.0 billion.


IFC's mission (
www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.  Since its founding in 1956 through the close of the last fiscal year on June 30, 2003, IFC has committed more than $37 billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s committed portfolio at the end of FY03 was $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held for participants in loan syndications.

Contact in Banco de Galicia:
Constanza Gorleri
Phone: + 1(5411) 6329-6488
E-mail: constanza.gorleri@bancogalicia.com.ar