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IFC, OFID Investment in Banco Itaú Paraguay Helps Farmers, Smaller Businesses Access Credit


In Washington:
Adriana Gómez, IFC
Phone: (202) 458-5204
E-mail:
agomez@ifc.org        

In Paraguay:        
Claudia Bobadilla
Phone: (595-21) 217 3430
E-mail:
claudia.bobadilla@itau.com.py


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 firms.  

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 confidence.”

“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.

About IFC

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.

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