Press Releases
print

IFC Purchases Bancamía Bonds to Promote Microfinance in Colombia


In Bogotá, Colombia:
Darcy Crowe, IFC

Telephone:+571 313 6449

E-mail:
dcrowe@ifc.org


Bogotá, Colombia, January 6, 2015 – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the arm of the World Bank Group that focuses on private sector development, has purchased the entire public offering of Bancamía, S.A.’s ordinary bonds for 100 billion Colombian pesos (approximately US$42 million), for the purpose of supporting the Colombian operations of this microfinance lender, which is part Spain’s BBVA Microfinance Foundation (FMBBVA).

The new funds will allow Bancamía, S.A., to expand its microfinance operations in Colombia, where it currently leads the sector as private bank, serving over 692,000 low-income customers through its network of 187 branch offices, many located in rural areas where the presence of financial institutions has long been limited.

This is Bancamía’s second bond issue, as part of a strategy to position itself in Colombia’s capital market so it can obtain the funding it needs to promote productive responsible finance through loans that support the development of the country’s microentrepreneurs.

“This transaction will enable us to balance the cash flow of customers in the rural sector, whose crop and livestock operations have a medium- or long-term horizon, with a bond issue that gives us funds for five years to facilitate the productive development of entrepreneurs in rural areas, which is our institution’s main line of business. In addition, it is an instrument that allows us to diversify the bank’s funding,” María Mercedes Gómez, Executive President of Bancamía, said.

This operation strengthens the IFC’s support for Bancamía following a US$10 million investment that it received in 2010. The recent bond purchase also consolidates the strategic partnership between IFC and the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, Bancamía’s principal shareholder, which works to strengthen microfinance institutions in Latin America.

The BBVA Microfinance Foundation is a key player in the region’s microfinance sector, offering through the institutions in its Group a wide range of financial services to low-income entrepreneurs, in order to sustainably advance their social and economic development.

Developing the microfinance sector has been a priority for the IFC in Colombia as part of its efforts to increase the financial sector’s penetration in the country. “This financing demonstrates our support for expanding access to financial services for microentrepreneurs in Colombia and deepening the country’s capital markets,” said Carlos Leiria Pinto, IFC’s Head for the Andean region.

In Colombia, IFC endeavors to support sectors that are essential for the country’s social and economic development, such as infrastructure, health, education, agribusiness, and public-private partnerships to build ports, roads, and airports. It also promotes access to financing for microenterprises and small and medium-sized businesses and is helping to improve the investment climate by simplifying regulations and the management of royalties. The IFC investment portfolio in Colombia stands at US$1.5 billion, of which US$500 million has been mobilized from other financial institutions.

About IFC

The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. It works with private enterprises in 100 countries, utilizing its capital, experience, and influence to help end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In fiscal year 2014, it provided over US$22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.