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IFC Supports Costa Rican Enterprises With Banco Improsa Financing


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

In Costa Rica, Banco Improsa S.A
Bernal Allen, Finance Manager
Phone: (506) 2284-4185
E-mail:
ballen@improsa.com

Washington, D.C., July 13, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will provide a $20 million long-term financing to Banco Improsa in Costa Rica, to expand access to finance for local small and medium enterprises and $5 million in guarantees to expand bank’s capacity to provide trade finance.

Under the terms of the transaction, half of IFC’s $20 million financing to Banco Improsa  could be convertible into common shares of Grupo Financiero Improsa, the bank’s holding company.

In addition to the financing, Banco Improsa strengthened its relationship with IFC by joining the Corporation’s Global Trade Finance Program, which supports trade with emerging markets by providing risk mitigation through guarantees and expanding banks’ capacity to provide trade finance. By joining the program, Banco Improsa becomes a new issuing bank with access to a global network of international bank relationships.

Franco Naranjo Jimenez, Banco Improsa’s General Manager, said, “IFC’s financing and our incorporation to its Global Trade Finance Program will help us further support SME operations in Costa Rica, which are an essential engine from economic growth and job creation in the country. We welcome this partnership with IFC and look forward to strengthening it in the future.”

Atul Mehta, IFC Director for Latin America and the Caribbean region, said: “IFC support to Banco Improsa is part of our strategy to expand access to finance for key productive sectors in Costa Rica and Central America. We also share Banco Improsa’s vision about the importance of strengthening the capacity and operations of SMEs through the services it provides with the Centers of Support and Advisory Services. We look forward to a long-term relationship with Banco Improsa.”  


IFC is expanding operations in Central America and is increasing its role in the Costa Rican trade finance market with a focus on SMEs. Since launching the Global Trade Finance Program, IFC has issued $1.6 billion in guarantees to facilitate trade flows with Latin America and the Caribbean. .

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 $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.  

About Banco Improsa
Banco Improsa was founded in 1986 as a financial company and became a bank in 1995. The bank’s focus traditionally has been on the SME sector, providing a diverse line of banking services, including factoring, long- term financing, trade finance, and developing specific products for its clients to strengthen their capacity, such as the network of “Centros de Apoyo y Asesorķa Pyme (CAAP)” (Centers of Support and Advisory Services) for SME’s, through which Banco Improsa offers advice on legal, accounting, taxes and/or investment consulting. For more information, visit www.improsa.com.