Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, December
10, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will provide $20 million
to Corporación Aeroportuaria del Este, SA to expand the Punta Cana International
Airport and support the Dominican Republic’s tourism sector.
CAE, which owns and operates the airport, will build a new runway and taxiway
suitable for larger aircraft and expand the passenger terminal. The expansion
will enable increased passenger capacity, improve services, and diversify
destination markets. It also will benefit the local economy by supporting
tourism, a key source of foreign exchange and fiscal revenues.
The airport serves top-tourist destinations of the Punta Cana and Bavaro
regions and is the country’s busiest and fastest-growing airport. During
the first 10 months of 2009, it handled about 3.2 million passengers and
accounted for roughly 43.2 percent of total air passengers in the Dominican
“In 1984, we opened the Punta Cana International Airport, an essential
infrastructure project for the Dominican Republic’s economic and social
growth,” said Frank Rainieri, President and CEO of Grupo Punta Cana SA,
CAE’s shareholding company. “We welcome IFC’s financial support and
expertise in this project that will help enhance regional development.”
Salem Rohana, IFC Representative in the Dominican Republic, said, “IFC’s
support of the Punta Cana International Airport project shows our commitment
to helping develop the local infrastructure and tourism sectors, a cornerstone
of our strategy in the Caribbean. It also reiterates our continued support
of the region in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.”
Banco BHD, a leading commercial bank in the Dominican Republic and IFC
investee bank, provided an additional $10 million in cofinancing for the
expansion. “With this financing, BHD once again demonstrates its commitment
to supporting the development of its corporate clients, while also partaking
in the social and economic progress of the Punta Cana region and the country,”
said Carmina Pellarano, Banco BHD Vice President of Corporate Banking,
Large Corporations, and Multinationals.
IFC’s committed investment portfolio in the Dominican Republic is $183
million. Over the past 10 years, IFC’s investment in the Caribbean totaled
$1.2 billion, including $268 million in syndications, for 61 projects.
IFC is expanding operations in the Caribbean, with special focus on diversifying
economies and strengthening private sector competitiveness to stimulate
economic growth and job creation. Priority sectors are infrastructure,
health, education, tourism, and the financial sector to promote access
to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises.
IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively
on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging
markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to
strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing
countries—including by supporting infrastructure projects in the Caribbean.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5
billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries
during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
CAE’s main asset, the Punta Cana International Airport (PCIA), is an integral
part of the Dominican Republic’s economic and tourism infrastructure.
Currently PCIA has installed the only Doppler weather radar
system in the Dominican Republic. Despite the current economic downturn,
PCIA has been able to maintain passenger traffic to date due to the efficiency
of its operations, the geographical diversity of its tourist base and the
strength of the Punta Cana and Bavaro tourism offerings. CAE is owned by
Grupo Punta Cana SA, a tourism services holding company operating in the
Punta Cana area.
About Grupo Puntacana SA
Maintaining a dedication to sustainable tourism, Grupo Puntacana comprises
a series of companies and projects including: Puntacana Resort & Club,
Corales, Tortuga Bay Hotel, the Marina Punta Cana,The Puntacana Foundation,
The Puntacana Ecological Foundation with its Center for Biodiversity and
Sustainability and the Puntacana Ecological Reserve. For further information,
please visit www.puntacana.com