Press Releases
print

IFC Provides $30 Million to Grupo Financiero Uno in Central America


IFC
Adriana Gomez
Phone: +(202) 458 5204

E-mail:
agomez@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., April 19, 2005—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement to provide up to $30 million in long-term financing to Grupo Financiero Uno, one of the leading financial groups in Central America. IFC’s financing will help with expansion and consolidation of the Group in the region.

“This investment represents IFC’s strategy to support local banks and financial institutions that adhere to international best practices,” said Paolo Martelli, IFC’s Senior Manager for Mexico and Central America. He added, “IFC’s investment in Grupo Uno is expected to bolster further the bank’s standing among banks in Central America and set an example for others to follow.”


The investment will be in the form of senior loans to Banco Uno S.A. (Panama) and Banco Uno, S.A. (El Salvador) for liquidity management and funding diversification purposes. Each loan will have a maturity of seven years with a two-year grace period.


Dr. Ernesto Fernandez Holmann, Chairman of the Board of Grupo Financiero Uno, said, “IFC's investment is a vote of confidence in Grupo Financiero Uno and in the future of the Central American financial markets.” He added that “IFC's financial strength and experience will be invaluable as Central America strives to develop its financial infrastructure.”


Grupo Financiero Uno provides, through a network of affiliated companies, retail banking, credit cards, insurance, and asset management services to more than 1 million retail customers in Central America. The Group has operations in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and recently expanded its credit card operation in Mexico.


IFC’s investment in financial institutions in Central America is key to its strategy to promote the region’s financial integration and increase the depth and soundness of its financial systems. This strategy focuses on encouraging economic growth, in particular by developing the region’s financial and physical infrastructure and supporting competitive manufacturing and services companies.  


IFC seeks to support Central American countries as they work to increase their competitiveness in the face of accelerating globalization. The investment in Grupo Uno comes at a key moment, as the recently signed Central America Free Trade Agreement is creating new opportunities and challenges for the private sector and the governments of the region.


The mission of IFC (
www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in transition economies, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the emerging markets, 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 FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.

Grupo Financiero Uno
Cesario Garcia
Phone: +1(507) 671-0009
Email: cegarcia@grupo-uno.com
Rainer Tuñón/ Bárbara Soto
J.A. Llorente & O.Cuenca
Phone : +1(507) 263-9899
Email: rtunon @llorenteycuenca.com.pa
Email : bsoto@llorenteycuenca.com.pa