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IFC Provides $25 Million to Banco BBVA Panamá to Expand Financing for Farmers and SMEs


In Washington:                                                        
Adriana Gómez, IFC
Phone: (202) 458-5204
E-mail: agomez@ifc.org

In Panama:
Patricia Figuera Ochoa, Banco BBVA Panamá
Phone: (507) 207-2525
E-mail: pfiguera@bbva.com

Panama City/Washington, D.C., March 13, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement to provide $25 million to Banco BBVA Panamá S.A. in support of the bank’s effort to expand lending to farmers and small and medium enterprises.



SMEs account for 80 percent of Panamá’s total employment. Yet only 20 percent of these companies have access to bank loans—a gap that limits their capacity to grow. IFC’s five-year credit line will help increase the operational capacity of SMEs in Panamá, primarily in the agricultural sector. It also will help such SMEs capitalize on opportunities created by Panama’s strong economic growth and the trend toward regional economic integration.

“IFC’s support to Banco BBVA Panamá will support the significant growth of SMEs and agribusiness, which are essential engines of economic growth and job creation in Panamá,” said Antonio Alonso, Country Manager of Banco BBVA Panama S.A. “It will also help consolidate our presence in the local financial system, with special focus on rural areas.”

Roberto Albisetti, IFC’s Regional Manager for Mexico and Central America, noted: “IFC looks forward to deepening its partnership with the BBVA Group, a strategic global client of IFC, with special emphasis on supporting Banco BBVA Panama’s efforts to serve key economic sectors where access to finance is limited. Supporting sustainable private sector development in Panamá and Central America are IFC strategic priorities.”

IFC supports critical infrastructure projects in Panama, such as the Panama Canal Expansion. It also works to strengthen the service sector and financial institutions in the insurance and banking sectors—especially those that serve low-income people and promote regional and global trade. IFC has a $529.5 million investment portfolio in nine private sector projects in Panamá.

IFC’s strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean is focused on promoting inclusive growth, supporting regional and global integration, competitiveness, and innovation, and helping mitigate climate change.  For more information about IFC in Latin America and the Caribbean, visit: www.ifc.org/lac

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
 
About BBVA Panama
Founded in 1982, Banco BBVA Panama is a wholly owned subsidiary of Spanish Grupo BBVA and is one of the largest private-sector banks in the Panamanian financial system and a leading financial services provider in the country. As a universal bank, BBVA Panama offers a full spectrum of financial services to over 70 thousand clients, both individual and corporate, throughout a network that covers most of the Panamanian territory. For more information, visit: www.bbvapanama.com

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