Panama City, Panama, June 12, 2014 —
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, provided a $40 million loan to Panama’s
Multibank Inc. to expand access to finance for small and medium enterprises
and support climate-friendly initiatives, including energy efficiency upgrades
and small-size renewable energy projects.
Panama’s banking sector is the largest in
Central America in terms of assets. However, few small and medium enterprises
have access to longer-term financing required to make capital investments.
IFC’s seven year senior loan will allow Multibank to provide its clients
with longer-term funding, enabling them to undertake projects with more
appropriate financing structures.
With IFC’s support, Multibank will also
be able to offer loans to promote climate-smart projects that can lower
greenhouse gas emissions and encourage more efficient energy use. Despite
abundant hydropower resources, Panama’s high electricity demand means
that it is still reliant on expensive, thermal energy sources such as diesel
and fuel oil for nearly half of its electricity generation. Reducing energy
consumption is important to raising the efficiency of Panama’s private
“We are excited to expand our strategic
partnership with IFC,” said Isaac Btesh, President of Multibank. “In
addition to financing, IFC brings global and technical experience that
will strengthen our position in Panama’s financial system, particularly
for small and medium enterprises and in climate smart projects.”
This is IFC’s second transaction with Multibank.
The bank became an IFC client in 2009 when it joined IFC’s Global Trade
Finance Program with a $65 million trade line, which has since been increased
to $75 million.
“This new operation shows IFC’s commitment
to working with key players that contribute to Panama’s social and economic
development and support a more inclusive financial marketplace,” said
Angela Maria Fonseca, IFC’s Country Head for Panama. “The proposed investment
is well aligned with IFC’s strategy and fills important gaps, particularly
for entrepreneurs who need financing to grow their businesses, and for
financing climate-friendly projects.”
committed portfolio in Panama amounts to $602 million. In Panama, IFC is
supporting financial intermediaries, infrastructure and education, by increasing
access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises, improving cellular
networks, and supporting the expansion of the Panama Canal. IFC is also
engaged in fostering renewable energy, with hydro, geothermal and wind-based
energy projects to help transition Central American countries to a cleaner
and more efficient energy matrix.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is
the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private
sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we
use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty
and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time
high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector
to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Multibank, Inc.
Multibank Inc. is a universal bank that was
established in 1990. Today, the Bank provides a broad range of commercial
and retail banking services to its customers. Multibank Inc. has 7 local
subsidiaries that provide factoring, leasing, insurance and brokerage services.
Multibank Inc. ranks third and ninth by total assets and loans, respectively,
among local private owned banks, with a market share of 3.7% in total assets
and 4.1% in loans as of December 2013. As of December 2013, Multibank
Inc. employs 1,470 professionals, has 28 branches in Panamá, and also operates
subsidiaries in Colombia, Costa Rica, and representative offices in Peru
and Colombia. Multibank Inc. has outstanding bond issues and preferred
shares, registered and publicly traded on the Panama Security Exchange.
Currently Multibank Inc.’s long term international risk rating by
Standard & Poor’s stands at BB+, with a positive perspective and by
Fitch Rating NY stands at BB+, with a stable perspective, only one notch
from investment grade. For more information, visit https://www.multibank.com.pa/en/default.html.