IIC Approves An Equity Investment In QBE Del Istmo Compañía De Reaseguros, Inc. In Panama


Washington, D.C. - On December 8, 2009, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) approved an equity investment of up to US$8 million in preferred stock in QBE del Istmo Compañía de Reaseguros, Inc. (QBE del Istmo), a reinsurance company. QBE is headquartered in Panama and has a presence in Central and South America. The IIC will sell a participation of 50% of its investment to the China–IIC SME Equity Investment Trust Fund. The IIC is working with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which will replicate the preferred stock structure proposed by the IIC and make an additional investment in common stock.

The IIC investment will enhance QBE del Istmo's capital and enable the company to launch new mass market insurance lines—especially dental insurance for those who do not have access to such coverage—and expand regionally in Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, and Peru.

According to Tomás Bermúdez, IIC Equity Investments Coordinator in charge of the operation, "QBE del Istmo is a regional company led by an outstanding team, with substantial growth potential in Latin America. Investing in QBE del Istmo enables the IIC to access not only the insurance and reinsurance industry—a new sector for the IIC—but also the mass market insurance area geared toward lower-income sectors in the region. For QBE del Istmo, the investment is a good alternative for meeting the capital needs arising from its expansion plan."

The IIC 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. In 2008, the IIC reached US$1.5 billion in assets and approved sixty-four operations channeling US$300.5 million to SMEs in the region. 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: Tomás Bermúdez (in Washington D.C.)

Telephone: (202) 623-1933

Email: tomasb@iadb.org