IIC Approves A Regional Cofinancing Program For Up To US$30 Million With Società Italiana Per Le Imprese All'Estero (SIMEST)

06/12/2006

Washington, D.C. – On June 13, 2006, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) approved a regional program for up to US$30 million with Società Italiana per le Imprese all’Estero (SIMEST). The program will provide direct, long-term financing for investments in fixed assets acquisitions and working capital for small and medium-size companies in Latin America and the Caribbean. These SMEs are established as joint ventures between local sponsors and Italian investors in the region. The Corporation will participate with an amount of up to US$15 million and SIMEST will provide the remaining US$15 million.

The IIC and SIMEST will participate in the program in a complementary manner. The IIC will provide senior or partially subordinated loans while SIMEST will directly assist eligible companies by acquiring up to 25% of their shares. Initially, the program will provide financing for the expansion of companies located in the countries where SIMEST already has investments: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. At a later stage, the program will be extended to the other countries in the region. It is expected that between five and ten companies will receive loans under this program and that between 50 and 200 direct and indirect jobs will be created. Total resource mobilization is expected to be between $30 million and $45 million over the life of the program.

SIMEST is a development finance institution whose mission is to support and promote the activities of Italian companies abroad. It was created by the Italian government in 1991.

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 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, visit its Web site at www.iic.int.

Contact: Carlos Roa/Sotero Arizu

Telephone: (202) 623-3955

Email: carlosroa@iadb.org