Washington, D.C., - December 16, 2003 - The
International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the
World Bank Group, provided a $40 million loan to Banco Continental de Panama
(BCP). The financing will help make available long-term funding to productive
enterprises, and will strengthen BCP’s balance sheet by better matching
the maturities of its assets and liabilities.
IFC will also help BCP establish an environmental management system to
better assess the environmental sustainability of its clients.
Declan Duff, Director of IFC’s Global Financial Markets Department, said:
“ IFC’s loan will not only enable BCP to continue providing long-term
mortgages and other retail loans to its clients but also strengthen its
capacity to evaluate its clients in terms of environmental sustainability”.
“The strengthening of BCP’s balance sheet is critical in a competitive
and consolidating environment both domestically and within Central America”,
added Bernard Pasquier, IFC’s Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Osvaldo Mouynes, CEO of BCP noted: “IFC’s long-term financing comes
at a critical time of BCP’s expansion. IFC fully understands and supports
our vision of becoming a stronger bank within Panama and a strong player
in the region."
BCP is Panama’s third largest private commercial bank with $ 1.8 billion
equivalent in total assets and $ 211 million equivalent in total equity
as of September 30, 2003. Traditionally characterized as the premier corporate
bank in Panama, Continental has evolved into a fully integrated universal
bank. With the recent acquisition of BIPAN Holdings, the fifth largest
Panamanian commercial bank, and of Banco Aleman Platina, another Panamanian
commercial bank specialized in trade financing, BCP has broaden its products
and services, and now has a network with representations in Mexico, El
Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Colombia.
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international
financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
From its founding in 1956 through FY03, IFC has committed more than $37
billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990
companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio
as of FY03 was $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.