Monterrey, Mexico, July 24, 2007—IFC,
the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement
with Banco Amigo S.A., a newly established microfinance bank in Monterrey,
Mexico. IFC will provide financing to help the bank expand its products
and services to low-income entrepreneurs and women-owned small businesses.
The 77 million Mexican peso equity investment ($7.1 million equivalent)
represents a stake of up to 18 percent in Banco Amigo. IFC will also provide
guidance on key areas, such as credit policies, credit scoring, and risk
The IFC financing to Banco Amigo aligns with one of IFC’s strategic priorities
in Mexico and Latin America: to develop a sound and financially sustainable
microfinance sector, expanding access to finance for smaller businesses.
IFC currently supports 23 microfinance companies in eight countries across
the region: Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador,
Haiti, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Peru. As a whole, the companies provide credit
and deposit services for some 1.5 million entrepreneurs.
Gerardo Josť de la Garza Santos, Banco Amigo’s Chairman of the Board of
Directors, said, “We are excited about developing this partnership, which
will combine IFC’s strong international microfinance experience with our
local expertise.” He also noted that the bank will place an emphasis on
providing credit to low-income women entrepreneurs, as part of its mission
to promote microfinance for smaller businesses.
“We are very pleased to support Banco Amigo, a new player in Mexico’s
microfinance sector. The bank shares IFC’s vision of promoting access
to finance for low-income entrepreneurs,” said Atul Mehta, IFC Director
for Latin America and the Caribbean. “We are committed to supporting microfinance
in the country because it is an effective way to create economic opportunities
and reduce inequality.”
IFC’s strategy for Mexico focuses on enhancing the competitiveness of
the private sector, deepening the financial sector by introducing specialized
products and markets, supporting infrastructure development and investments
in areas newly opened to private sector participation, and promoting sustainable
environmental and social development and good corporate governance.
Since 1956 when Mexico became a member of the IFC, the Corporation
has invested $5.6 billion in Mexico, including $2.2 billion in syndications,
in sectors ranging from infrastructure and manufacturing to agribusiness
and the financial sector. IFC committed $260 million in fiscal 2006 in
new financing in the country, and it held a total portfolio of $1.1 billion,
including syndications, as of July 31, 2006.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth
in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing
capital in the international financial markets, and providing advisory
services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people
have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY06,
IFC committed $8.3 billion, including syndications, to 284 investments
in 66 developing countries. For more information, please visit www.ifc.org.
About Banco Amigo
Banco Amigo S. A. began operations in late 2005 as a non-bank financial
institution and received its banking license in November 2006. In
May 2007, Banco Amigo opened for business after receiving approval from
Mexico’s National Bank and Stock Market Commission. For more information,
please visit www.bancoamigo.com.mx.