Washington DC, October 3, 2007 —
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, had another record year of investments
in the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean region, with a
strong emphasis on addressing market gaps and on sustainability, according
to IFC’s Annual Report released today.
This past fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2007, IFC committed $1.78 billion
for 68 private sector projects in Latin America and the Caribbean and mobilized
an additional $1.12 billion through loan participations and structured
finance. IFC’s financing was broadly distributed throughout the region,
with the largest support for companies in Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Mexico,
Central America, and the Caribbean.
“Although market conditions have improved significantly, many segments
of the region’s economy continue to be underserved, including small and
medium enterprises and people with lower and middle incomes. IFC is expanding
its focus in these areas,” said Atul Mehta, IFC Director for Latin America
and the Caribbean. “We will also continue helping clients raise their
environmental, social, and corporate governance standards to be more competitive
in an increasingly global marketplace.”
This fiscal year, 43 percent of IFC’s commitments in the region were focused
on micro, small, and medium enterprises and housing finance, with a total
investment of $771 million in 30 projects. This includes $221 million to
SMEs in the export sector through 12 projects in IFC’s Global Trade Finance
Program, commitments for housing finance amounting to $375 million, and
$175 million for microfinance and SME financing.
With this strategy, IFC has increased its developmental impact in Latin
America and the Caribbean. For example, in 2006 IFC’s microfinance clients
reached over 2.6 million micro entrepreneurs with loans of up to $2.2 billion.
IFC’s banking sector clients reached 99,320 SMEs, with loans of close
to $7 billion. IFC’s housing finance projects this year helped generate
over 170,000 mortgages for low- and middle-income people in the region.
IFC has also tripled its local currency financing in the region in just
two years, with 30.3 percent of commitments totaling $540 million. This
is especially important to borrowers whose businesses focus on the domestic
market and whose earnings are mainly in local currencies.
IFC’s advisory services in the Latin America and the Caribbean have also
expanded significantly, with emphasis on improving the business environment
by simplifying municipal regulations and procedures. This program has helped
register more than 20,000 new firms across the region, bringing them into
the formal economy and improving their access to finance. IFC’s business
enabling environment program is operating in 30 municipalities in Brazil,
Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru.
In FY07, IFC invested over $8 billion globally for its own account and
mobilized nearly $4 billion more in its client countries. Expenditures
for advisory services, funded by donors, IFC itself, and clients, reached
nearly $197 million.
IFC’s Annual Report
The Annual Report’s broader scope includes sections on IFC’s investment
products and advisory services; new coverage of industry departments, as
well as regions; partnerships with governments, foundations, and civil
society; and collaboration across the World Bank Group. A new section on
“How We Work” provides information on IFC and Bank Group governance,
the stages of IFC’s investment and advisory project cycles, and data on
staff, executive compensation, and the Corporation’s carbon footprint.
The report’s single-volume format includes IFC’s financial statements
for FY07, management’s discussion and analysis, and new third-party assurance
on IFC’s sustainability and development effectiveness information. The
report’s Web site, www.ifc.org/annualreport, includes listings of FY07
investments and advisory projects; the investment portfolio as of June
30, 2007; detailed information on IFC’s Board of Governors and Board of
Directors; and translations of the report and its summary as these become
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 poor people 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 loan participations 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.