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IFC BECOMES SHAREHOLDER IN EL SALVADOR'S AFP PREVISION


Jannette Esguerra
Phone: (202) 458-5204
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: jesguerra@ifc.org


SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR,  March 12, 1999 ---IFC has become a shareholder in AFP Prevision, a leading Salvadorian pension manager established to manage mandatory and voluntary pension funds in El Salvador's new social security system.

The Salvadorian Private Pension System initiated operations in July 1998.  By year-end 1998, the system had enrolled 570,000 affiliates, of which 135,000 affiliates or 24 percent of the market are with AFP Prevision. The system collected pension fund contributions of close to $60 million during the first six months of operations.


El Salvador is the first country in Central America to emulate the successful Chilean model of a defined contribution private pension system.  Reform of the former state-run "pay-as-you-go" social security system is part of the El Salvadorian government's agenda for further market-based reforms.


The Chilean model has proved that a private pension system can improve old age security as well as capital market and private sector development.  By adding to private savings, these systems can help finance growing levels of domestic investment in a country.  IFC's involvement in the Salvadoran pension industry, initiated through this project, would help with other capital market development initiatives in El Salvador and the rest of Central America.


The pension funds in El Salvador are expected, over time, to stimulate demand for, and issuance of, equity and long-term fixed income instruments and add nearly $2 billion to the local capital markets in the next ten years.


The sponsors of AFP Prevision are Banco Bilbao Vizcaya (BBV) of Spain; Pacific Financial Group (Pacific); a Central American financial group; an affiliate of Banco Salvadoreño (El Salvador's third largest bank); and the IFC.


IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters growth in the developing world and in emerging economies by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in the international financial markets, and providing technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.