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IFC to provide $15 Million Standby Credit Facility to Compañía Panameña de Aviación, S.A. (Copa Airlines)


IFC in Washington
Adriana Gomez

Phone: +1(202) 458 5204
Email:
agomez@ifc.org

Copa Airlines in Panama

Patricia Roquebert

Phone: +1 (507) 207 5920

E-mail
: PRoquebert@copaair.com


Washington, D.C., June 27, 2005 — The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement to provide a medium-term standby revolving credit facility of $15 million to Compañía Panameña de Aviación, S.A. (Copa Airlines) to be available for working capital requirements.

"IFC is pleased to support the continued expansion of Copa, a strong regional airline, which has played an important role in integrating the North, Central and South American and the Caribbean aviation markets and has a true commitment to client service and best practices”, said Francisco A. Tourreilles, director of IFC's Infrastructure Department.


Atul Mehta, director of IFC’s Latin America and Caribbean Department, noted: "This financing to Copa Airlines fits with IFC’s strategy in Central America focused on encouraging economic growth by helping develop infrastructure
.

Victor Vial, CFO, Copa Airlines, said, "We welcome IFC’s support to Copa and the confidence the Corporation has shown in our airline during this period of rapid change in the aviation sector.”


IFC's committed portfolio for its own account in Panama is $214 million. IFC's strategy in the country has been focused in areas where investing can make a significant developmental impact, with the objective of expanding access to social services and infrastructure, as well as supporting regional economic integration.


IFC seeks to support Central American countries as they work to increase their competitiveness in the face of accelerating globalization. The credit facility provided to Copa Airlines comes at a key moment, as the recently signed Central America Free Trade Agreement is creating new opportunities and challenges for the private sector and the governments of the region.


The mission of IFC
(www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition economies, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the emerging markets, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.

About Copa Airlines


Copa Airlines (copaair.com), is a leading Latin American provider of international airline passenger service. Operating from its strategic location at the Hub of the Americas in the Republic of Panama, Copa currently offers approximately 80 daily scheduled flights to 30 destinations in 20 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. In addition, Copa provides passengers with access to flights to more than 120 other international destinations through codeshare agreements with Continental Airlines and other airlines.