Press Releases

IFC Global Trade Program Adds First Guatemalan Bank, Boosts Trade in the Region

In Washington:
Lotte Pang, IFC
Phone: +1 202 758-4290
In Guatemala City:
Sergio Bocanegra, Banco G&T Continental

Phone:  502 233 81142


Washington, DC, April 29 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today that Banco G&T Continental has become the first bank in Guatemala to join the IFC Global Trade Finance Program. The program will help the bank increase access to finance for businesses in Guatemala and boost the country’s share of global trade.

Through the IFC Global Trade Finance Program, Banco G&T Continental is supporting two import and pre-export financing transactions totaling $20 million. The transactions support international trade in food products, including sugar and sesame, and machinery such as turbo generators and excavating machines. The disbursement is scheduled for April 15th, 2009.

Erwin Prera Soria, Banco G&T Continental CFO, said, “Our involvement in the IFC Global Trade Finance Program will allow us to better support our trade clients in export or import transactions involving a wide variety of products."  

Marcos Brujis, IFC Manager for Mexico and Central America, said, “IFC support to Banco G&T Continental is part of our strategy to increase financing solutions and access to international markets for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Guatemala. The strength of international commerce in Central America will contribute to the integration and development of the region."    

IFC expects to strongly increase its role in the Guatemalan trade finance market with a focus on SMEs and the agribusiness and infrastructure sectors.

Since launching the Global Trade Finance Program in the region in February 2006, IFC has issued $1.25 billion in guarantees to facilitate trade flows with Latin America and the Caribbean. The network of issuing banks for the region has expanded to 36 banks in 15 countries, including: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, St. Lucia, and Uruguay.

More than 40 percent of the guarantees issued benefited local small and midsize businesses and supported interregional trade flows between emerging market nations.

IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program supports trade with emerging markets worldwide and promotes flows of goods and services between developing countries. IFC provides guarantee coverage of bank risk in emerging markets, allowing recipients to expand their trade finance transactions within an extensive network of countries and banks. Antonio Alves is the IFC Head of Trade Finance for Latin America and the Caribbean (email: For more information, visit

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit

About Banco G&T Continental (  
G&T Continental is a Financial Group with more than US$ 4,350 million dollars in assets, over 1.7 million customers and users and 350 agencies and service points over the country. It has a presence in the market of The United States, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama. In 2007, following the acquisition of the Group Banex Figsa in Guatemala, is positioned as the fifth of a total of 81 Financial Groups in Central America, and has consolidated within the National Banking System, as the second largest Financial Institution in Guatemala. In 2006, G&T Continental Bank was rated by the most important risk assessors in the world, Standard and Poor's.