WASHINGTON, D.C., April 18 -- The International
Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed a US$70 million financing agreement
with SanCor Cooperativas Unidas Ltda., one of Argentina's leading milk
and dairy products manufacturers. SanCor is undertaking a five-year, US$198
million investment program to modernize and expand its production of cheese,
pasteurized milk, powdered milk, and other products. IFC is providing two
loans totaling US$40 million, both for its own account, and will arrange
a syndicated loan of US$30 million with international financial institutions.
The project will help the company respond to greater competition in the
domestic market. The company also hopes to take advantage of export opportunities
brought on by the Mercosur agreement, which includes Brazil, Paraguay,
and Uruguay in addition to Argentina. "This project reflects IFC's
strategy of assisting competitive Argentine industries like the dairy sector,"
according to Mr. Helmut Paul, Director of IFC's Latin America and the Caribbean
artment. "SanCor has played a leading role in improving dairy farm
productivity and milk quality through its work with farmers and primary
cooperatives." In fiscal 1994, IFC invested more in Argentina than
in any other country, with total financing of US$305 million for 13 projects
with a total cost of over US$1.9 billion. Thus far in fiscal 1995, IFC
has approved financing of more than US$500 million for 11 projects with
a total cost of almost US$1.6 billion. IFC is a member of the World Bank
Group and is the leading multilateral source of equity and loan finance
for private sector projects in developing countries.