Panama City, Panama, August 12, 2011—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement with Banco
General S.A. to support the growth of residential-mortgage lending to low-income
households in Panama.
Banco General is the leading mortgage
lender in Panama with more than 55 years of experience and has been a partner
of IFC since 2000. IFC will provide $50 million in long-term financing
of seven years; and Banco General will be able to match the maturity needed
to finance low-income mortgage lending.
Speaking at the signing of the financing
deal in Panama City today, Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and
CEO, said, “IFC is deepening a strategic partnership with Banco General
to increase access to mortgages. IFC’s support will help Banco General
expand financing for families whose annual incomes are near or below the
median income level in Panama.”
“We are pleased with IFC’s support
to expand Banco General S.A. low-income mortgage portfolio. This agreement
demonstrates the commitment of both institutions to promote the growth
of markets that are critical for Panama’s sustainable development, such
as affordable housing,” said Raul Aleman, Banco General’s CEO.
This financing is consistent with IFC’s
strategy in Panama to support private sector companies in Panama that have
a strong development impact, particularly in strategic sectors such as
the financial industry to promote access to underserved sectors, infrastructure,
and renewable energy. As of July 2011, IFC’s committed investment
portfolio in Panama totaled $533 million. Part of this portfolio
includes IFC’s support to the Panama Canal expansion plan.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth
by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and
governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets.
In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our
clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute
to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time
high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Banco General
Banco General is Panama’s largest private
retail bank, with leading market positions in local mortgage loans, local
corporate loans, and local deposits; with more than 490,000 clients, 3,200
employees and 59 office branches in Panama. Since 1997, Banco General has
held International Investment Grade from Standard and Poor’s and Fitch
Ratings. The institution is recognized for its financial strength, solid
leadership, and permanent commitment to the community. For more information,
please visit www.bgeneral.com.