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IFC Supports Banking Sector in Guatemala


In Washington, D.C.
Rita Jupe

Phone + 1 (202) 458-8967

Email:
Rjupe@ifc.org

Adriana Gómez

Phone:  + 1 (202) 458-5204

Email:  
Agomez@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., April 11, 2006—In a move designed to spur the development of the banking sector in Guatemala, the International Finance Corporation has signed an agreement to provide Banco Industrial, S.A., the country’s largest financial institution, with a $30 million subordinated loan.

IFC’s financing will help support Banco Industrial’s plans to expand its financing of large firms, the growing export sector, and small and medium enterprises.  It will also help deepen the bank’s successful program for processing remittances from Guatemalans abroad.  The loan will qualify as tier-II capital for regulatory purposes.

Jyrki Koskelo, IFC’s director for Global Financial Markets, said, “By strengthening the capital base of the leading bank in Guatemala, IFC will promote the consolidation of the country’s financial sector, which will further increase the stability of the banking system.”

IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, seeks to support Central American countries as they work to increase their competitiveness in the face of accelerating globalization. IFC’s financing is particularly timely as the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) creates new opportunities and challenges for the private sector and the governments of the region.

In the financial sector, IFC has been providing leading banks in Central America with investments tailored to strengthen their capital bases so that they can take advantage of regional expansion opportunities.

Atul Mehta, IFC’s director for Latin America and the Caribbean, said, “IFC’s investment will constitute a signal of approval in the international market and help put Banco Industrial on a very competitive footing as CAFTA is implemented in the region.”  

Banco Industrial, founded in 1968, has consolidated assets of $3 billion and more than a 20 percent market share of assets and deposits. Well established in the large corporate market segment, it supports a client base, including key exporters, of good credit quality with trade finance, working capital, and financing for capital expansion.  In recent years, it has increased its services for small and medium companies and individual customers. It is the largest processor of family remittances from Guatemalans abroad.

Diego Pulido, Banco Industrial’s CEO, said, “We very much welcome the new relationship with IFC as its long-term financing will help diversify the funding sources necessary to sustain growth.”

IFC is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.  IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent.  Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, 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 FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.  For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.