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IFC Invests in Guatemala’s Banco G&T Continental, Promoting Access to Finance for SMEs


In Washington, D.C.:
Adriana Gomez

Phone: 202 458 5204

E-mail:
agomez@ifc.org


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 America.

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 job creation.


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.

About IFC

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.