Asunción, June 20, 2011—IFC, a
member of the World Bank Group, and the OPEC Fund for International Development,
known as OFID, are providing $40 million to Banco Itaú Paraguay S.A., to
boost lending to farmers and small and midsize businesses in Paraguay.
The investment consists of a four-year credit line of up to $20 million
for IFC’s own account to fund multi-industry small and medium enterprises,
and a four-year credit line of up to $20 million mobilized by IFC from
OFID, to increase access to finance for farmers and small and midsize agribusiness
Small and medium enterprises are critical to the Paraguayan economy, generating
about 80 percent of employment and 60 percent of gross national product,
while agribusiness accounts for around 55 percent of exports and 30 percent
of gross national product and generates about one-third of employment.
Credit is scarce for these firms, especially in rural areas.
“We are pleased to consolidate our strategic relationship with IFC through
this new transaction,” said Roberto Lamy, President of Banco Itaú Paraguay.
“The investment will enable us to continue promoting the development of
small and medium enterprises and enhance our commitment to this key sector
of the Paraguayan economy and our determination to promote the growth of
credit in the country.”
“IFC looks forward to deepening its support to Banco Itaú Paraguay through
this innovative transaction, our fourth debt investment in Paraguay’s
financial system,” said Salem Rohana, IFC Country Manager for Argentina,
Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. “OFID’s first investment in Paraguay will
help consolidate the demonstration effect begun with IFC’s initial investment
in the country’s financial system in 2008, further increasing investor
“OFID is strongly committed to supporting sustainable solutions to the
food security challenge especially in terms of strengthening the agribusiness
supply chain, including small farmers, small producers, and suppliers,”
said Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, Director-General of OFID.
IFC’s strategy in Paraguay includes promoting business expansion into
other emerging markets; supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises;
fostering global trade; and protecting natural resources through environmentally
sustainable business practices. For more information about IFC in Latin
America and the Caribbean, visit: www.ifc.org/lac.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create
opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do
so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply
essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering
advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global
economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion
in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
About Banco Itaú Paraguay
Before joining the Itaú brand in 2010, Banco Itaú previously operated as
Interbanco in Paraguay for more than 30 years. An innovator and leader
in on-line services, it specializes in credit cards and agricultural loans,
covering all market segments and providing customized products and 24-hour
service. Banco Itaú has a strong social commitment to Paraguay’s sustainable
development, partnering with the Telethon Foundation and UNICEF, among
others. As of December 31, 2010, Itaú had PYG$6.4 trillion (US$1.6 billion)
in assets and PYG$286.2 billion (US$71.8 million) in revenue. For more
information about Banco Itaú Paraguay, visit www.itau.com.py.
About the OPEC Fund for International Development
OFID’s primary aim is to foster social and economic progress across the
developing world through the provision of concessional financing for development.
OFID also participates in the financing of private sector enterprises,
located in developing countries. Trade financing, in the form of lines
of credit and guarantees, is another window by which OFID’s assistance
reaches these countries. Since its inception in 1976, OFID has delivered
over $13 billion in financing to 130 partner countries (51 in Africa; 41
in Asia; 31 in Latin America and the Caribbean; and seven in Europe). For
more information about OFID, visit www.ofid.org.