IIC Approves A US$5 Million "A" Loan And An US$18.5 Million "B" Loan To Banco Industrial E Comercial S.A. (Bicbanco) That Will Benefit 337 Brazilian SMEs

10/09/2006

Washington, D.C. - On October 13, 2006, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) approved an "A" loan of up to US$5 million and a "B" loan of up to US$18.5 million to Banco Industrial e Comercial S.A. (BicBanco) for onlending to Brazilian small and medium-size enterprises for working capital and revolving credit lines.

The IIC has developed an effective mechanism for channeling credit to small and medium-size companies through local banks, financial corporations, and leasing companies. The transaction will enable BicBanco to provide loans with terms ranging from three months to a maximum of two and one-half years. Such loans are in high demand by SMEs in Brazil but are difficult to obtain.

BicBanco was established in 1938 in northeastern Brazil. It currently has 29 branches and 646 employees. The bank is focused on small and medium-size companies and direct loans to such companies account for a large proportion of its balance sheet. The IIC approved an initial loan to BicBanco in April 2004, benefitting forty-one SMEs.

According to Mr. Paulo Celso del Ciampo, executive director of BicBanco’s International Division, "A second A/B Loan from the IIC will again enable us to provide our customers with access to more stable working capital funding, which will enhance their growth capacity in line with Brazil’s positive environment and improvements in terms of country risk and economic stability. Medium-size companies in Brazil face particular constraints in accessing credit, and the IIC is helping improve the value of the segment by enabling the provision and maintenance of credit lines targeting this middle market."

As of December 31, 2005, the IIC had approved US$289.7 million and disbursed US$190.46 million in Brazil. In 2005 the IIC approved four transactions in the agency line, guarantee, and financial services sectors totaling US$157.4 million.

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. The IIC's mission is to promote the economic development of its regional member countries by stimulating 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: Víctor Hugo Moscoso (in Washington D.C.)

Telephone: (202) 623-3918

Email: victorhm@iadb.org