Port of Spain, Trinidad/ Washington DC, May
20, 2002—The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private
sector development arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement
for a US$20 million credit line with Republic Bank Limited of Trinidad
and Tobago to help provide much-needed long-term financing to projects
in the country and the Caribbean region.
IFC’s investment will help Republic Bank to finance its current project
pipeline in industry, private infrastructure and tourism. This is
IFC’s second major investment in the Trinidad and Tobago financial sector.
Bernard Pasquier, IFC’s Director of the Latin America and Caribbean Department
said: “Strengthening the financial sector in Trinidad and Tobago is a
key IFC priority. Our collaboration with Republic Bank shows a clear commitment
to pursue this objective and will establish a foundation for other financial
markets development work in the country and the region.”
David Dulal-Whiteway, Deputy Managing Director of Republic Bank Limited,
said: “There is a great demand for long-term US dollar funding within
the Caribbean region. However, our deposit base continues to be of a short-term
nature, thereby limiting the extent to which we at Republic Bank can meet
this growing need. The IFC credit line plays a great role in providing
a competitively priced source of long-term US dollar funding for our customers.
It is our wish that this will encourage more long-term US dollar funding
to the region.”
IFC’s credit line will also allow Republic Bank to improve its maturity
gap and will enhance environmental as well as financial management, such
as improving asset-liability management techniques.
IFC’s current portfolio in Trinidad and Tobago accounts for up to $80
million in sectors such as manufacturing, energy and financial services.
Companies that had received financing from IFC in the past include
the gas company Messer Trinidad & Tobago Limited, Caribbean Ispat Ltd
steel facility, Unicell Paper Mills Caribbean Ltd, and Royal Merchant Bank
and Finance Company Limited.
Since 1966, IFC has approved more than 20 projects in the English-speaking
Caribbean and the Dominican Republic with a total cost of more than $1.2
billion. In addition to investing $328 million for its own account,
IFC has mobilized an additional $242 million in funding from various local
and international partners.
Republic Bank is headquartered in Port-of-Spain, and is a well-diversified
financial group in Trinidad and Tobago. Republic Bank’s operations span
across the Caribbean region through subsidiaries in Grenada, Guyana, Cayman
and Barbados. The Group has 3, 277 employees, 61 branches and the largest
banking franchises in Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and Guyana.
IFC’s mission (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, and provides
technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Since
its founding in 1956, IFC has committed more than $31 billion of its own
funds and arranged $20 billion in syndications for 2,636 companies in 140
developing countries. IFC’s committed portfolio at the end of FY01
was $14.3 billion.