Santiago, Chile/ Washington, D.C.,
July 24, 2013—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will provide
$30 million to Chile’s Banco Internacional to help it establish a new
agribusiness unit that will focus on expanding financing for small and
medium enterprises and increasing the range of financial services provided
to women entrepreneurs.
Banco Internacional has been an IFC
client since March 2010, when it became the first Chilean bank to join
IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program. This new operation is IFC’s first
financing in the Southern Cone that is focused on expanding access to finance
for women entrepreneurs.
Expanding access to long-term financing
to Chilean SMEs in the agribusiness sector is essential to support job
creation and economic growth. Agriculture is the second-largest contributor
to Chile’s gross domestic product, and 90 percent of agribusinesses are
SMEs. Yet SMEs in this sector have few options for formal financing.
Women entrepreneurs are also a growing
social and economic force in Chile. However, the credit gap for formal
women-owned SMEs is approximately $4.5 billion, representing an opportunity
for financial institutions to close te gap and help these SMEs grow.
“IFC’s financing will help Banco Internacional
consolidate its position as an innovator and a pioneer in supporting important
economic sectors in Chile”, said Julio Jaraquemada, President of Banco
Internacional. “We welcome IFC’s unique global and technical expertise
supporting the financial sector in emerging markets”.
Pablo Verra, IFC’s Head of Financial
Markets in the Southern Cone, noted: “Through this transaction, IFC confirms
its long-term partnership with Banco Internacional, a key player supporting
SMEs in Chile. IFC looks forward to expanding its presence in Chile by
supporting local financial institutions such as BI that are strongly aligned
with our mission.”
IFC’s strategy in Chile focuses on
promoting sustainable investments in key sectors of the economy that contribute
to job creation, expansion of services, and to more equitable growth. These
sectors include tertiary education and vocational training, infrastructure
and energy, and financial services that meet the needs of SMEs and low-income
groups. At the end of fiscal year 2013, IFC’s portfolio in Chile—both
on its own account and mobilized from third parties—amounted to more than
$1 billion. For more information about IFC in Latin America and the Caribbean,
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 Banco Internacional
Banco Internacional initiated its activity
in 1944, initially as Banco Israelita de Chile, and then turned into Banco
Internacional in 1981. At present, it has 508 employees, owns a commercial
network of 16 branches, including an agribusiness office in Temuco, covering
five regions and serving over 11,500 customers. The bank offers a wide
variety of credit and non-credit products and financial services, such
as factoring, leasing, trade finance, treasury, real estate, insurance,
funds, among others.