Press Releases

IFC’s $25 Million Bicbanco Financing to Benefit Brazil’s Health, Education Service Providers

In Washington, D.C.:
Ludi Joseph
Phone: (202) 4737700
Adriana Gomez
Phone: (202) 4585204

Washington, D.C., November 16, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement to provide $25 million in local currency financing to Brazil’s Banco Industrial e Comercial S.A. to support its lending to small and medium health and education service providers.

Known as Bicbanco, the bank is among Brazil’s leading midsize banks with one of the largest health and education loan portfolios in the country.

The five-year financing will be provided through a cross-border local currency Real-linked structure. It will help Bicbanco reach a broader range of small and medium enterprises, including those located in remote areas of the country. Bicbanco also will receive access to and share with its clients IFC’s health and education expertise and tools aimed at improving quality standards.

Paulo Celso, Executive Vice President, Bicbanco, said, “We are happy to partner with IFC, whose unique combination of local currency financing and health care and education expertise will enhance our competitive advantage in supporting small and medium enterprises operating in these sectors.”

Jyrki Koskelo, IFC Vice President for Europe, Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Global Financial Markets and Funds, said, “This transaction supports the operations of midsize Brazilian banks through diversification of funding and complements IFC’s strategic relationship with Bicbanco. It also gives IFC the opportunity to launch its wholesale health and education strategy in Brazil.”

Wholesale facilities with partner banks allow IFC to reach a large number of providers serving all segments of the population. The transaction also fits IFC’s strategy of expanding access to finance for small and medium enterprises in the health and education sectors. It complements IFC’s long-term relationship with Bicbanco, which is the largest user of IFC’s global trade finance program in Latin American and the Caribbean.

IFC’s strategy in Brazil focuses on promoting access to finance and developing capital markets to reach low-income individuals, microenterprises, and small businesses. IFC seeks to strengthen infrastructure and public services, including health and education, by increasing private sector participation. Other key areas include improving the investment climate and helping small businesses join the formal economy. IFC also promotes socially and environmentally sustainable practices, specifically in the Amazon region. As of June 2009, IFC’s committed portfolio in Brazil was $2.2 billion.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit

About Banco Industrial e Comercial S.A. - Bicbanco
One of Brazil’s oldest private banks, Bicbanco is a leading provider of funding to small and medium enterprises in Brazil. It is the fifth-largest national private bank serving midsize companies. The bank’s main lines of products are working capital, secured loans, trade finance, and public employee loans. For more information, visit