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IFC Investment to Boost Access to Finance in the Dominican Republic


Contacts:
Adriana Gómez
Phone: +1 (202) 458 5204
E-mail: Agomez@ifc.org

Lotte Pang
Phone : +1 (202) 458-0952
E-mail: Lpang@ifc.org


Santo Domingo, April 21, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that it will invest in Centro Financiero BHD in the Dominican Republic, supporting the company’s strategy to make available integrated financial products, including loans for small and medium enterprises, microfinance, remittances, and insurance, which have a significant impact in the economy and job creation. IFC’s $33 million investment for a 9 percent equity stake will also help the company become a model financial service provider in the region.

According to Ing. Luis Molina Achécar, President of Centro Financiero BHD, “We are pleased to welcome IFC as a shareholder in Centro Fiananciero BHD. This investment signals IFC’s support for our company and strengthens a relationship that began in 2003.”  

James P. Scriven, IFC Director for Global Financial Markets for Latin America and Africa, said, “IFC is working in the Dominican Republic to promote best practices, and increase access to finance for low- and middle-income groups. Strengthening our relationship with Centro Financiero BHD, a diversified and well-managed financial services company, will help us meet these objectives.”

IFC’s strategy in the Dominican Republic focuses on supporting projects that generate growth and improve the country's competitiveness. IFC’s relationship with BHD began in 2003, when it provided a $20 million quasi-equity financing to Banco BHD, the company’s largest subsidiary, to enhance the bank’s capital structure and help expand its long-term lending to middle market.

About Centro Financiero BHD
Centro Financiero BHD is a financial services holding company that owns 12 companies that provide such services as wholesale banking, SME lending, insurance, pension fund administration, remittances, and asset management.

IFC in the Dominican Republic
As of March 30, 2008 IFC’s investment portfolio in the country was US$272 million, including US$41 million in syndications. These investments are diversified across various sectors, including health care, infrastructure, tourism, general manufacturing, and financial services. IFC clients include Aerodom, Banco Adopem, Banco León, Puerto Caucedo, Puerto San Souci, Basic Energy,  Domicem, Grupo M, Occidental Hotels, Hospiten, and Pasteurizadora Rica.

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.