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IFC Provides $105 Million to Itaú to Promote Climate Finance and SMEs in Colombia


In Bogota:
Darcy Antonin Crowe
Phone: (57) 1 313 6449
Email: dcrowe@ifc.org

Ricardo Gutiérrez
Phone: (57) 1 6448000 ext. 18843
Email: ricardo.gutierrez@itau.co

Bogota, Colombia, December 18, 2017 — IFC, a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group, disbursed $105 million to Itaú CorpBanca Colombia to boost the development of small and medium enterprises in the country and also to increase financing for projects that help mitigate the climate change.

The IFC's loan includes resources from the eco.business Fund, an impact fund that promotes the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources. IFC will also provide advisory services to assist Itaú to identify climate and renewable energy projects so that the bank can expand its green financing in Colombia.

Itaú will also use the loan to increase its loan portfolio to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), a key sector of the economy whose growth and capacity to create jobs is limited by the lack of access to financing.  A recent survey showed that 62 percent of SMEs in Colombia consider lack of financing the main obstacle they face to grow and create more jobs.    

"Our vision is to be the leading bank in sustainability and customer satisfaction, so this credit is perfectly aligned with our strategy of decisively contributing to the development of the country by promoting sectors as important as clean energy and small and medium enterprises, both with a very high growth potential", explained Álvaro Pimentel, President of Itaú CorpBanca Colombia S.A.

The investment is part of IFC's efforts to boost the development of SMEs and also financing for climate projects in Colombia. There are enormous opportunities of growth in this sector in Colombia as the potential for climate financing in renewable energy, for example, stands at $27.5 billion. In this regard, IFC is working with the Colombian banking sector to ensure that it plays a catalytic role in promoting climate finance.

 "At IFC, we are committed to the sustainable development of Colombia and we will continue working to promote the creation of jobs and to improve financial services to create a more inclusive environment for all sectors of the economy," said Carlos Pinto, IFC manager for the Andean region. "This investment fills important gaps, especially for small businesses that need financing to grow their businesses and to finance profitable projects that are critical to mitigate the impact of climate changes," he said.

IFC has invested and mobilized close to $9 billion dollars since 1956 in Colombia. IFC's current strategy for Colombia focuses mainly on providing support to key players in the private sector that can support the development of the country's capital markets and increase access to financing for Colombian companies.

Finally, Jens Mackensen, chairman of the board of directors of eco.business Fund, said: "We are proud to participate in this transaction that seeks to mitigate the effects of climate change in Colombia. The mitigation of climate change through the adoption of sustainable practices in the agro-industrial sector is one of the main objectives of eco.business Fund."

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About Itaú CorpBanca Colombia
Since April 2016, Itaú CorpBanca Colombia S.A. is a member of the Itaú Unibanco Holding S.A. With 104 years of history in the country, it occupies the fourth place in Chile and the sixth in Colombia in terms of its assets, with a network of 187 service points and 180 ATMs in 27 cities in the country. In addition, it has presence in Panama through its subsidiaries Itaú (Panama), a bank with international license, and Itaú Casa de Valores (Panama), stockbroker. In Colombia, the Financial Group has three subsidiaries: Itaú Comisionista de Bolsa (Brokerage Firm), specialized in the stock market; Itaú Securities Services, trustee specialized in local and global custody business, and Itaú Asset Management Colombia Fiduciary Company, specialized in investment asset management and trustee administration. It is also associated with Itaú CorpBanca Colombia, Itaú Corredor de Seguros, the sixth largest insurance broker in the country.  

About eco.business Fund
eco.business Fund is leading the promotion of business practices that contribute to the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of natural resources and the mitigation of climate change and adaptation to its effects through the private sector. By providing financing to companies that carry out their activities in harmony with the conservation of nature and biodiversity, eco.business Fund seeks investments that generate financial and environmental returns. For more information, visit www.ecobusiness.fund.

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