IIC Approves Loan Of Up To US$66 Million To Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria In Panama


The operation will improve Panamanian SME access to long-term financing

Washington, D.C. - On December 9, 2008, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) approved a loan of up to US$66 million to Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Panamá S.A. (BBVA Panamá). The loan comprises an A loan of up to US$10 million to be funded by the IIC and B loan of up to US$56 million to be funded by participating financial institutions.

BBVA Panamá is a financial institution that is part of Grupo BBVA. Its operations break down into three main lines of business: corporate banking, commercial banking, and personal banking; the latter is its fastest-growing portfolio.

The loan proceeds will be used to provide financing to Panamanian SMEs for purchases of fixed assets and machinery, and for working capital. It is expected that at least 330 SMEs will benefit from the proceeds of the loan to BBVA Panamá.

According to Santiago Cat, IIC Investment Officer in charge of the operation, "These companies need this type of alternative financing to properly fund their operations, thus helping them increase their production capacity and improve their ability to compete internationally."

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. In 2007, the IIC reached US$1.2 billion in assets and approved 62 transactions channeling US$470 million to SMEs in the region. 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, please visit www.iic.int.

Contact: Santiago Cat (in Uruguay)

Telephone: + (598) 2915-3696

Email: santiagoc@iadb.org