IIC Approves Loan To Banco Patagonia, S.A. In Argentina

07/28/2008

The IIC will support Banco Patagonia's efforts to increase access to long-term financing for Argentine SMEs,especially those that are in the interior of the country.

Washington, D.C. – On July 29, 2008, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) approved a loan of up to US$5,000,000 to Banco Patagonia, S.A., to support medium-term financing for SMEs in Argentina. Banco Patagonia is Argentina's fifth largest private bank in terms of deposits and tenth in terms of net worth. It provides a wide range of commercial banking products, chiefly to the retail segment and SMEs.

This funding from the IIC will further Banco Patagonia's strategic goal of increasing the financing it provides SMEs. Medium- and long-term financing is very limited in Argentina, and local banks are not in a position to offer such financing. This limits companies' ability to grow. The financing available to this sector is currently limited to less than one year tenor.

According to Tomás Bermúdez, the IIC investment officer in charge of the operation, "The financing approved for Banco Patagonia has a demonstration effect for other banks because it comes at a time when market conditions are difficult for financial institutions in the region, including in Argentina. This shows the IIC's commitment to the financial sector and to Argentina’s SMEs."

This operation is expected to benefit at least twenty-five SMEs by providing them with less costly financing on better terms in the form of loans averaging US$250,000.

The Inter-American Investment Corporation is a multilateral financial institution that is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group. It provides financing (in the form of equity investments, loans, guarantees, and other instruments) and advisory services to private enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2007, the IIC reached US$1.2 billion in assets and approved 62 transactions channeling US$470 million to SMEs in the region. The IIC’s mission is to promote the economic development of its regional member countries by encouraging the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that are small and medium in size. For more information on the IIC’s activities, please visit www.iic.int.



Contact: Tomás Bermúdez/Carlos Roa (in Washington D.C.)

Telephone: (202) 623-1933/(202) 623-3955

Email: tomasb@iadb.org/carlosroa@iadb.org