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IFC Buys Mibanco Shares in Peru to Strengthen its Position as Major Microfinance Provider


In Washington D.C:
Adriana Gomez

Phone:+ (202) 458 5204

Email:
Agomez@ifc.org


Washington DC, July 16, 2007 –  IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has acquired a 6.5% stake in Mibanco from the Peruvian Group ACP for over $6 million. With this operation, IFC seeks to strengthen Mibanco’s position in the financial markets as one of the major microfinance providers in Peru.

According to Luis Felipe Derteano Marie, President of the ACP Group, “We welcome IFC as a shareholder of Mibanco. IFC’s participation in Peru’s microfinance leading entity is a recognition to its strong commitment supporting micro enterprises, which is an essential sector for job creation and poverty reduction.”

IFC, the International Finance Corporation, has a long-term relationship with Mibanco, which began in 2001 when IFC granted an initial five-year $5 million loan to help the bank expand its lending activities outside the Lima area.  As it continued to grow its microfinancing operations and open new branches, Mibanco’s funding needs increased, leading to a second $29 million loan from the IFC in June 2006. More recently, in April 2007, IFC granted a further $7 million subordinated loan to support the expansion of its financial services.

Atul Mehta, IFC’s Director for Latin America, said: “One of the most pressing challenges for Peru is the need to provide access to finance to the majority of people who rely on self-employment through microenterprises. This operation is a vote of confidence in Mibanco and we hope it will serve to further consolidate its position as one of the main sources of microfinancing in Peru.”

Mibanco is Peru’s largest specialized microfinance bank, with over 330,000 clients across the country.  To date, Mibanco has provided over a million loans to low-income individuals and small enterprises in Peru, many of whom had little or no prior access to formal credit institutions.

One of IFC’s strategic priorities in Peru and Latin America is to support the development of a sound and financially sustainable microfinance sector, as this is critical for increasing access to finance for small and microenterprises. IFC currently supports 20 microfinance companies in eight countries, including Bolivia, Peru, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, Brazil and the Dominican Republic, providing credit and, increasingly, deposit services to 1.3 million entrepreneurs.

About IFC
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 Mibanco

Mibanco is the leading specialized microfinance institution in Peru.  It has 74 offices nationwide, a staff of over 2,000 people, and a loan portfolio in excess of 1 billion nuevos soles. As of March 2007, it holds a 13.8% share of the microfinance market and, with over 330,000 microfinance clients, is the largest institution in terms of the number of microenterprise clients.  With loans starting at 300 nuevos soles, MIBANCO has enabled thousands of people to access financial services. For more information, please visit
http://www.mibanco.com.pe.

About ACP
The ACP Group is a non-profit organization focused on servicing the educational, financing, and business needs of microentrepreneurs. The ACP Group is the major shareholder in Mibanco, with a stake of over 60%. ACP also has a share in Secura (an insurance brokering company), Aprenda (an institution providing training and capacity building to microenterprises), and Vivencia (a company which provides drinking water, sanitation, and housing services). The Group is also a shareholder in Banco Sol, a leading microfinance institution in Bolivia, and Forjadores, a microfinance institution in Mexico.