Guatemala City, Guatemala, July 29,
2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a new
equity investment in Banco G&T Continental, a key player in Guatemala’s
financial sector with operations in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Panama.
This investment will help expand the bank’s services to small and medium
enterprises in Central America.
The $70 million financing in Banco G&T Continental, a preferred shareholder,
is IFC’s largest equity investment in a financial institution in Central
Flavio Montenegro, CEO of Banco G&T Continental, said, “IFC’s equity
financing will strengthen the strategic partnership between both institutions.
It will also help us develop our strategy to reach SMEs, a core component
of our expansion plans in the region.”
Marcos Brujis, IFC Country Manager for Mexico and Central America, said,
“IFC’s new investment in Banco G&T Continental is consistent with
our strategy in Central America to help develop financial markets and promote
access to finance for SMEs, which are an essential engine for growth and
Serge Devieux, IFC Senior Manager for Financial Markets in Latin America
and the Caribbean, said, “This financing reaffirms our commitment to support
for the Guatemalan banking sector through a long-term partnership with
a key local financial player.”
IFC is expanding operations in Central America, with a focus on helping
develop the financial sector and supporting regional integration through
private sector participation in infrastructure projects. IFC is also helping
firms involved in agriculture and other services improve their competitiveness
and expand within Central America and beyond. IFC’s total committed portfolio
in Central America as of May 2008 was $719 million.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth
in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing
private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing
advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s
vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and
improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized
an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance
for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory
services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Banco G&T Continental
Banco G&T is a full-range commercial bank and Guatemala’s second-largest
banking institution, with total assets of $2.88 billion as of October 31,
2007. Through its network of 266 branches, mini-banks, and 1,100 ATMs in
the country, the client serves four market segments: corporate banking
for midsize and large companies, banking for small businesses, retail banking
with individuals, and institutional banking.
Corporate banking is clearly the largest of the four segments. Although
the client has a strong focus on commercial banking, Banco G&T is also
a major player in the remittance business, with a 15 percent market share
in family remittances and 18.4 percent in total remittances. In the United
States, it has 21 branches in Los Angeles, which are crucial for capturing
remittances from the strong Guatemalan diaspora in California.