Guatemala City, October 2020—More
than 1000 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Guatemala will
have improved access to finance, as a result of a partnership between IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and Banco Agromercantil, BAM, that aims
to address a $14.2-billion MSME finance gap in the country. With the unprecedented
challenges of an ongoing pandemic, this partnership will allow smaller
businesses to continue operations and preserve jobs, thereby contributing
to the resilience of financial markets and accelerating the nation’s post
IFC is providing a $20 million loan to Banco
Agromercantil, BAM, a member of Grupo Bancolombia, as part of the Working
Capital Solutions Program from IFC’s global COVID-19 response. IFC will
be mobilizing another $20 million from the Eco-Business Fund in Latin America,
managed by Finance in Motion.
“IFC’s timely support will help us strengthen
our position in the SME segment and allow us to expand financing to local
companies, thus creating jobs. We are keen to work toward a defined strategy
that will help preserve the market’s ability to foster economic recovery
in Guatemala,” said Bolaños Coloma, Executive Director and CEO of Banco
MSMEs are a key driver of the national economy,
providing an equivalent to 3.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
Yet, about 41 percent of MSMEs are credit-constrained and 25 percent of
them perceive financing to be a major or severe deterrent to growth, according
to the country’s MSME Finance Forum. The situation may further deteriorate
in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, with Guatemala’s GDP likely to
contract by 3 percent in 2020.
“With the ongoing pandemic, it is essential
to bolster Guatemala’s financial sector,” said Sanaa Abouzaid, IFC Country
Manager for Central America. “IFC’s COVID-19 fast track facility will
help keep smaller businesses solvent. This will save jobs, companies, and
support Guatemala's sustainable and resilient recovery process,” Abouzaid
BAM has been a client of IFC since 2019.
The loan to BAM is aligned with IFC's strategy in Guatemala, which focuses
on supporting economic growth and securing opportunities for the most underserved
segments of society.
IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is
the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital,
expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing
countries. In fiscal year 2020, we invested $22 billion in private companies
and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power
of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Banco Agromercantil de Guatemala, BAM, arises
from the merger of two banking institutions of solid prestige and a long
tradition, Banco Agrícola Mercantil and Banco del Agro. As part of Bancolombia
Group, BAM's purpose is to promote sustainable economic development to
achieve the well-being of all. It has over 165 agencies distributed in
the 22 departments of Guatemala, and digital banking called BAMNET, also
available in mobile version through the BAM APP app and by phone at (502)2338-6565.
For more information, see www.bam.com.gt
and @BAMGuatemala on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.