IIC Loan To Banco Improsa S.A. Provides Funding For Originating Mortgage-Backed Loans In Costa Rica

07/30/2007

US$10 million loan will help Banco Improsa meet the growing demand for mortgage loans and promote access to the housing market

Washington, D.C.- On July 31, 2007, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) approved a loan of up to US$10 million to Banco Improsa, S.A. in Costa Rica. Banco Improsa is an efficient niche bank with a diverse product range and a solid track record in serving small and medium-size companies. Eighty percent of its portfolio is made up of companies with sales below US$4.5 million.

The lack of long-term funding has hindered the growth of Banco Improsa’s mortgage lending operations. With the proceeds of the IIC loan, the bank will be able to fund approximately 125 mortgage loans. Such lending will help boost the construction sector, which is one of the main engines of economic activity and a significant source of employment in Costa Rica. The sector also generates demand for goods and services related to the housing industry; many of these services are provided by small and medium-size manufacturers and contractors.

According to Ana Cecilia Savastano, IIC investment officer and project team leader, "The IIC’s first loan to Banco Improsa, approved in 2000, provided funding for medium- and long-term loans to small and medium-size companies and encouraged other lenders to begin financing SMEs. We expect that this new loan, which has a much longer term than the first operation, will have the same catalytic effect."

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 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: Carlos Roa/ Ana Cecilia Savastano

Telephone: (202) 623-3955

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