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IFC APPROVES US$99.05 MILLION FINANCING FOR FIVE PROJECTS IN LATIN AMERICA


L. Joseph


The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has approved financing of US$99.05 million for five projects in four Latin American countries in sectors including manufacturing, mining, tourism, agribusiness, and infrastructure. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is the largest source of multilateral financing for private sector projects in developing countries.

IFC Finances Malt Plant in Argentina
Cerveceria y Malteria Quilmes, S.A. (Quilmes), a leading Argentine brewery, will receive US$30 million in financing from IFC to construct and operate a new malt plant with a capacity of 85,000 tons per year. The malt will be used mainly by the company's breweries and the surplus will be exported to Brazil and other South American countries, thus generating foreign exchange earnings. The new plant will also benefit 500 local farmers who cultivate malting barley. The total cost of the project is US$45 million. IFC's financing consists of loans amounting to US$15 million for IFC's own account and a loan of US$15 million to be syndicated with commercial banks.


IFC Lends to Zinc Company in Bolivia
Comsur, S.A., a zinc mining company in Bolivia, is to receive US$12.3 million in financing from IFC to undertake an investment program to increase zinc production and reduce operating costs. The project is expected to provide employment for about 500 persons and generate export earnings of about US$30 million per year. The total cost of the project is US$55.5 million. IFC's financing consists of a loan of US$11 million for IFC's own account and a US$1.3 million quasi-equity investment. Comsur's parent company, Minera, S.A., incorporated in Panama, is owned by Mr. Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozado, and Rio Tito Zinc.


IFC Finances Hotel Construction in Brazil
IFC has approved a US$16.75 million investment in Gavea Hotelaria e Turismo, S.A., to help fund the construction of the Sao Paulo Intercontinental Hotel in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which is expected to open in early 1996. As a five-star hotel to be used mainly by business executives, the project fills an urgent need for more top-quality hotel rooms in Sao Paulo catering to visiting businessmen. The total cost of the project is US$55.7 million. IFC's financing includes a US$11.25 million loan and a convertible loan of US$5.5 million. Gavea is a joint venture of Brascan Participacoes Ltda., Inter-Continental Hotels Corp., and Inter-Continental Hoteleira Ltda.


IFC Finances Meat Processing Plant in Brazil
IFC has approved a loan of US$10 million for Brazil's principal meat processor, Chapeco Companhia Industrial de Alimentos, S.A., (Chapeco) and will invest up to US$5 million in the equity of the holding company, S.A. Industria e Commercio Chapeco (SAICC). IFC's financing will enable Chapeco to undertake a US$46 million investment program to modernize and expand its existing facilities for poultry and pork, and to improve its product mix and quality. Chapeco is a pioneer in developing integrated systems of production involving more than 3,000 farmers as well as establishing franchise distribution systems in Brazil. As such, the project is expected to have important economic benefits. SAICC is owned by the De Nes family.


IFC Finances Gas Pipeline Construction in Colombia
IFC has approved financing of about US$30 million to Promigas, Colombia's largest gas transportation company, to increase the capacity of its main gas pipelines and expand coverage of its regional pipeline network to connect more than 50,000 households to the gas supply system. The project aims to reduce the reliance on hydro power and expensive fuel oil and is expected to have important environmental and economic benefits. The total cost of the project is US$40.8 million. IFC's financing includes US$5 million for IFC's own account and up to an expected US$25 million to be syndicated with commercial banks. Promigas' major shareholders include Ecopetrol, Scarpetta Group, and local finance companies.