IIC Continues To Support A Rice Production Supply Chain In Uruguay With A Loan Of Up To US$4 Million To Sociedad Anónima Molinos Arroceros Nacionales (Saman)

04/30/2007

Washington, D.C. - On May 1, 2007, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) approved a loan of up to US$4 million to SAMAN to support a rice production supply chain comprising more than 200 rice growers. SAMAN is the number one rice exporter in Uruguay and one of the five largest rice processors in Latin America.

If additional resources are mobilized, the financing will be increased to US$5 million in the form of an A loan of up to US$2.5 million funded by the IIC and a B loan of up to US$2.5 million funded by other participating financial institutions.

According to John Beckham, IIC Corporate Projects Coordinator, "Our goal with this loan is to assist SAMAN in improving its financial structure so that it enhances its competitive position in the international market and, at the same time, continues to support its supply chain of more than 200 rice growers with working capital and technical assistance."

The IIC loan will support the development of the Uruguayan agricultural sector by helping the company improve its financial structure after the investments it made with its own funds during its fiscal year 2007. The loan will also help the company improve end-product quality, reduce operating costs, and offer better services to rice growers. Ninety percent of SAMAN's production is exported to more than twenty countries worldwide; the company generates approximately 6,000 indirect jobs.

According to Manuel Romero, SAMAN’s Finance Manager, "The IIC loan will give us more financial flexibility, which is very important for our business. Long-term financing is in scarce supply in Uruguay, especially for terms longer than five years."

The Inter-American Investment Corporation is a multilateral financial institution that is part of the Inter-American Development Bank 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 encouraging the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that are small and medium in size. As of April 4, 2007, the IIC’s outstanding loan and equity investment portfolio in Uruguay is nearly US$21 million. For more information on the IIC's activities, please visit www.iic.int.

Contact: John Beckham/Javier Barsantini (in Chile)

Telephone: (202) 623-3984/+ (562) 431-3724

Email: johnbec@iadb.org