IIC and BAC International Bank Inc. agree to support the development of SMEs in Central America


They will focus on promoting the GREENPYME energy efficiency program in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua

San José, Costa Rica - On April 22, 2010, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and BAC International Bank Inc. signed a memorandum of understanding to promote SME cooperation and technical assistance projects.

The institutions agreed to work together to carry out training workshops and energy audits to help improve energy efficiency among SMEs, among other areas of collaboration. They will also sponsor a regional forum on the matter to disseminate best practices for the rational use of energy. BAC International Bank will offer financing to SMEs interested in carrying out projects on the subject and will identify and invite its corporate clients to participate in the workshops and energy audits. The IIC agreed to review direct financing opportunities for BAC International Bank subsidiaries to enable them to finance SME energy efficiency projects in the region.

GREENPYME is an IIC program that promotes a more rational use of energy resources and renewable technologies by Latin American and Caribbean SMEs, aiming to improve their competitiveness and sustainability.

BAC International Bank has several financial subsidiaries in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Among its main objectives, BAC International Bank provides financial services to small and medium-size enterprises in the region and brings them into the formal banking sector through its regional corporate social responsibility program.

Signing for BAC International Bank was Ernesto Castegnaro, President and CEO. General Manager Jacques Rogozinski signed for the IIC. Also present at the signing ceremony were Executive Vice President of Grupo Financiero BAC-Credomatic Gerardo Corrales; BAC Regional Banking Director Eric Campos; IIC Deputy General Manager Steven Reed; and IIC Technical Assistance and Strategic Partnerships Division Chief Jorge Roldán.

According to Mr. Castegnaro, "Signing this agreement is in line with our strategy: supporting Central America’s economic development. It makes us a leader in the region in environmental protection and SME sustainability. It also enables us to forge an alliance with a multilateral institution such as the IIC and, together, support our corporate social responsibility programs to promote the sustainability and competitiveness of small and medium-size enterprises and bring them into the formal banking sector in the region."

Mr. Rogozinski stated that "This type of partnership contributes to the IIC’s ability to provide nonfinancial value-added services to SMEs and demonstrates our commitment with the private sector in the region. Investing in energy efficiency is not only a priority and a response to climate change, but also an opportunity to increase SMEs’ efficiency and profitability."

About BAC International Bank Inc.

BAC International Bank, a financial institution established in 1952, has regional presence from Guatemala to Panama. Its mission is to provide outstanding service to help clients in Central America trade and finance goods and services through innovative and cost-effective payment instruments and financial solutions. Since 2006 BAC has adopted a three-pronged corporate social responsibility policy that includes promoting financial education for clients, partners, and young students; protecting the environment; and helping small and medium-size enterprises access production value chains in Central America. In 2009, BAC reached US$7.69 billion in assets, with a loan portfolio of US$5.07 billion. For more information on BAC, please visit www.bac.net.

About the IIC

The IIC is a multilateral financial institution that is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group. 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. It does so by providing 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 2009, the IIC reached US$1.4 billion in assets and approved 40 operations channeling US$299.8 million to SMEs in the region. For more information on the IIC’s activities, please visit www.iic.int.

Contact: Jorge Roldán

Telephone: (202) 623-3948

Email: jorgero@iadb.org